24th August 2015
Written by James Middlehurst
“Throughout, my life I have grown up with a disability which everyone does not understand, however 10% of adults over the age of 16 in the UK have dyslexia."
I have worked in the NHS for two spells. My first role was working in Health records where I was expected to prep and scan patient documents e.g. patient case notes but in this role I did not really need any support regarding my dyslexia. I left this position in January 2013, and wanted to pursue a career in IT. Over the years since leaving school I have trained but I have never been given the opportunity to work as an IT professional.
My first IT role in the private sector was not very successful. I believe this was due to a lack of support and understanding of my disability. I was given a 9 month contract and was dismissed after 6 weeks. My previous employer did not understand how to train me and while being trained I was struggling to pick things up quickly as other employees, who do not suffer from dyslexia. I have experienced this in the past while I was learning to drive. There was nothing wrong with my ability to drive, however one day I would be excellent and the other I was not. If you think of a dyslexic mind, it is best to think of a filing cabinet labelled ADCB, all the information is there but it is the wrong order and it take us a little longer to access the information.
Three months later and with my confidence and self esteem very low, I got an interview for a job working on the IT service desk at Informatics Merseyside. I am proud to say that I got the job and I am now thriving. As an organisation I have found Informatics Merseyside very helpful and supportive. Unlike my last employers, Informatics Merseyside has understood my needs and given me the time I need to learn and understand my role as an IT engineer.
Over my time working for the NHS the support I have received has been a great boost to my confidence and self esteem. I am now confident, if I was to leave Informatics Merseyside, I would be able to work as an IT professional elsewhere, where before I didn’t think I would ever get such an opportunity. I am, however, very happy working for the NHS and pleased to work for a company with such good ethics. You only have to walk to the canteen and see all the employees from different nationalities and backgrounds to see what a principled organisation the NHS is.”
James is a contractor recruited for his current role by max20 – NHS People who is a member of the “two ticks” Job Centre Plus scheme. This means max20 – NHS People has been recognised as a positive place to work for disabled people, and has made commitments to employ, retain and develop people with disabilities.
Following his initial 15 month contract at Informatics Merseyside that ended in October 2014, James was asked back to carry out some additional work for Informatics Merseyside in April 2015. At the end of this short term assignment max20 moved James to the Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen Hospitals NHS FT where he took up a 3 month role as a Service Desk Analyst. Our client was that impressed with James he was offered a permanent role which he accepted.