I wanted to do more for the families that I saw...

I am nearly 17 years into my OT career, I am no longer the young new grad and I feel that after this number of years working in one specialism of occupational therapy I can call myself a specialist or an expert. I have worked in nearly every paediatric specialism possible, from NICU to HDU, UK to abroad, Community NHS to Charity school and a lot of rare disorders and conditions. I had landed in a safe job, that worked around my family life.

To be honest I was a little bored, my job was beginning to frustrate me, and I was suck with no career progression. Then Covid 19 happened. I am sure I am not the only person that the pandemic led us to look at their lives differently. I looked at where I was career wise, and I was stuck.  At the beginning of the pandemic, I was just returning from maternity leave back to my NHS job as a Paediatric OT working a generic caseload seeing whoever came into my clinic allocation that month and ended up on my caseload. With the changes to face to face working I quickly learnt some teletherapy skills and how to assess children online. But that wasn’t enough of a challenge. 

I felt the need for a change. I wanted to do more for the families that I saw outside of the limited role I had within the NHS. So that’s when my private practice Super Kids Therapy was born, offering specialist Occupational Therapy assessment and treatment. I love the freedom being my own boss gives me and the children, young people, and families I am getting to work with.

And for a while that was enough. But then one day I was speaking to a physio I know about how she worked as a case manager as well as a private physio and how complementary they were as roles to each other. Not only that how working as a case manager suited her family life to as reports and emails could be done in the evening. She also told me how much she enjoyed the long-term relationships she was building with the families that she was case managing and to be honest this sounded great. I had considered case management years before but had interviewed with a different company and it didn’t feel right.

I then read an article in OT News about portfolio working, where therapists were creating it their own mixed roles and this plus the chat with the physio inspired me to look for a case management company who were recruiting.

Now I am a bit fussy when it comes to who I work for. I believe this started when as a new grad I got a job for one of the most respected OTs in the country at the time and I have tried to keep this standard going in everything since.

So, I looked at all the case management companies in the UK, I looked for the award winners, the names that came up often, the ones with positive staff feedback and then I found Circle. Who just happened to be employing associates at the time I was looking? So, an online application and a zoom call later and they offered me an associate position.

And I have to say it’s been life changing, I love being a case manager. I have learnt that so many of my skills are transferable and that my experience is valued. In many ways it has been a steep yet enjoyable learning curve, like learning the medical jargon as an OT student I have had to learn the legal jargon. I’m enjoying working in a different type of team centred around a child’s needs. I have been able to supplement the wonderful support I get from the Circle team with two courses from CMSUK, one in Case Management and one in Paediatric Case Management.

The work fits around my family life which is so important to me. I feel like me again, not just my children’s mum. I am valued for my specialist knowledge, and I can use those skills in a way that supports others but not at a cost to my own family. As I can work around things like sick children, sports days, and Christmas plays.

I’m now at the point that I have enough work between my case management and my private practice that I can say fair well to the NHS for now. I am so happy that I found Case Management and the amazing company that I am proud to be an associate for.

Amy Blake

To find out more about Amy, request her C.V or arrange a free meet & greet for your client please visit Case Managers | Circle Case Management or email hello@circlecm.com

Posted on June 23rd 2021

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