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  Susanna's story

I have been an Occupational Therapist (OT) for 20 years now and have worked clinically across older people’s physical and mental health services, eventually specialising in older person’s mental health services (OPMH). 

My first role in managing a Multiple Disciplinary Team (MDT) was as a Team Lead for a Community Mental Health Team, caring for older people. Although I had always worked in a MDT and thought I understood each individual professional’s role in ensuring patient centred care, it was not until this role that I fully appreciated the complexity of MDT working and the benefits of an effective team has when delivering patient care.

My leadership career continued with various roles which incorporated professional leadership across the MDT and specialities, both mental health and physical.  

My current role of Deputy Director of Allied Health Professionals (AHP) is a new role to the Trust.  It involves providing professional and strategic leadership for all AHPs in the Trust, as well as ensuring the roles and impact of AHPs are promoted and recognised throughout the Trust and with our partners.

We have a huge range of AHP professions here at Southern Health, who I love visiting, seeing the impact they have on the lives of patients and their families. Every day, I continue to learn the unique value that each professional brings to the treatment of a patient and the impact of the MDT.

I am passionate about patient care and the need to promote independence and recovery.  I feel incredibly privileged to do such a role and I genuinely enjoy coming to work.  

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   What is an Allied Health Professional?

There are various allied health professional (AHP) groups working within Southern Health. They work in both physical health, mental health and learning disability services, in the hospital environment, clinics, people's homes, and alongside other professionals such as nurses, GPs, hospital doctors and social workers.  All our AHP’s take students.

Allied health professionals have particular skills and expertise to help people overcome illness and disabilities or have special needs and need help with day to day living.

There are 14 professional bodies considered AHP’s, many of them work within SHFT.  The 14 include:

Art Therapists | Drama Therapists | Music Therapists | Chiropodists/Podiatrists

Dietitians | Occupational Therapists | Operating Department Practitioners | Orthoptists |

Osteopaths Paramedics | Physiotherapists | Prosthetists and Orthotists |Radiographers |

Speech and Language Therapists


Find out more about these professions

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   Living in Hampshire

Hampshire is based in the centre of the South Coast. As well as the idyllic New Forest National Park we have some the country’s best beaches and coastline on our doorstep. If it’s culture you’re after then we have the historical cities of Portsmouth, Winchester and Salisbury within easy reach. There’s some amazing museums such as Milestones Living History Museum in Basingstoke and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard with the prestigious Mary Rose.

The county is served with some great travel links with quick and easy access to London. Southampton also has its own airport with large motorways including M3 and M27 serving the whole area.

If you like to be kept busy then we can help here too. Southampton, Portsmouth and Winchester have a great range of shops, restaurants and bars with fantastic leisure facilities. You can pop on the ferry to Isle of Wight and join in with the annual music festival. There are also regular Farmers’ Markets held in villages across the county selling fresh, local produce and a range of homemade treats.

For those of you who enjoy sport we have a county cricket team and a premier league football team. If you love the water, then Hampshire is for you! We host Cowes Week sailing event, and a kite surfing festival every year. There are also many opportunities for kayaking, windsurfing and SUP.

If you currently live further afield then, get in touch to enquire about our attractive relocation packages and join us to enjoy south coast living.

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About Southern Health

 Find out about what all about what it is like to work for Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust.

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 Meet Raja

 "I feel genuinely supported and appreciated"

Raja Badrakalimuthu, OPMH Consultant, Elmwood Ward  

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 Our opportunities


 Find out about what current opportunities we have within the Trust - you could find just what you've been looking for.  

Who are we?

Southern Health is one of the largest NHS Foundation Trusts in the country, specialising in mental health, adult and child community health and learning disability services. Whatever you’re looking for from your career, with over 6,000 employees, you’ll find it at Southern Health.

There are hundreds of opportunities to expand your skills through our diverse range of services. As well as our inpatients services and community contacts we run a wide range of specialist services including diabetes care, frailty services, MRI scanning, an eating disorder service, stalking clinics and an award winning perinatal service. We also have a range of secure services including a specialist unit for young people aged 12 -18. Our research team is dedicated to conducting research into many areas of mental and physical health and you will have the opportunity to be part of our studies.

We passionate about providing remarkable care and we’re looking for people that share our mindset. People want different things from their career and we’re here to find the perfect package that’s right for you. From making sure you have time for family, working on the other passions in your life or finding the next rung on the career ladder, we can support you.



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