Case study

Joy Mclaggan

Joy Mclaggan

Occupational Therapy Consultant

Opportunities don't always land on your plate. You have to go out there and find them. Put your head above the parapet and ask the questions. If you can justify why you want to do something and put a good case forward, then that is how opportunities can come about.

I started working for Hampshire County Council 19 years ago. It was my first job having just left university qualified as an Occupational Therapist (OT). Throughout my journey I have always felt a valued member of staff and supported to develop my knowledge and skills as a practitioner.

I worked my way up from a newly qualified OT to a Senior OT position. Throughout this time I actively sought out different opportunities, often secondments, to increase my knowledge and skills.

One of the secondments was working for the OT Helpdesk, now part of the Contact, Assessment and Resolution Team, CART. This exposed me to the front door of the service. I also had a secondment with the Community Innovations team, focusing on preventative work such as reducing people's social isolation and other lower-level needs.

In 2010 I asked for, and was granted, a twelve-month career break to pursue a Masters qualification in clinical research. I received funding from the National Institute for Health Research and support from my manager and from Hampshire County Council. For me, my Masters Degree is my biggest achievement and I’m proud to see elements of my work applied in day-to-day practice. Colleagues ask me about it and I’m able to support and mentor them as they develop their skills.

I joined the Reablement service when it developed in 2017 and am now completing a Level 5 Apprenticeship in Operational Management. I also work with the Consulting team which is expanding my leadership skills and strategic thinking.

I have grasped lots of opportunities throughout my journey, including other Masters modules such as Mentorship and the Mental Capacity Act and DoLS training, enabling me to undertake Best Interest Assessments for Hampshire County Council.

I feel really privileged to have had so many opportunities to become a more experienced and ‘all rounded’ practitioner. The opportunities are there, whatever your field of social care. My advice is to grasp them and create your own pathway.

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