Who we are and what we get up to. Below you will find some of our staff and their lives working with us at Cambian. We hold on to our staff and nurture them from wherever they join the company right through to their highest achievements.
Dr Triveni Joshi's story - Children's Services
Clinical Director for Children's Services
"I joined Cambian in 2012 and initially worked within education, before making the move to Cambian Willows where I set up the CAMHS services and became the Clinical Lead for CAMHS.
As the Clinical Lead for CAMHS, I provided guidance to trauma services and complex care, which provided me with a thorough understanding of all areas of children's services.
I have enjoyed my journey with Cambian; witnessing the growth and changes the company has made.
In 2016, I was was appointed the Clinical Director of Children's Services, a position which entails overseeing the entire clinical team within the Children's Services Division; including: Education, CAMHS, Sexual Trauma and Children's Residential.
I am passionate and my goal lies in developing the delivery of a service that is of a high quality and delivers positive outcomes for the very vulnerable group of young people within our care.
Outside of work I enjoy keeping fit, learning to dance, cooking, reading, listening to music, travelling and socialising with friends."
Jo August's Story - Fostering
Operations Director Fostering Directorate
"I joined By the Bridge in 2003, carrying out numerous roles, allowing myself to get a practical insight into all areas of the business. I relish in the fact that I am part of a team responsible for growing a company which is now a leader in its field.
In 2015 when the fostering division amalgamated and became By the Bridge with Cambian, there were 42 families and 47 children. As it stands today, By the Bridge with Cambian works with 454 families and look after 631 children.
Last year, I was appointed Operations Director and best part of my job is the fact no two days are the same, with each day bringing a new challenge and being privileged to witness first-hand the remarkable outcomes our young people achieve.
Outside of work I enjoy keeping fit at the gym or embarking on long walks with my Labrador, Wilf. I also enjoy socialising with my friends and am a mum to 3 grown-up children ranging in age from 19-24.
Doug's Story - Learning Disabilities
"I specialise in learning disabilities and I’ve been with Cambian for seven months. Before Cambian I studied nursing for three years and then worked as a Staff Nurse in a medium-security forensic service for young males with learning disabilities. I was already working as a Support Worker in the field of autism and was finding my job rewarding; but also felt I could make more of a difference. I felt that stepping into nursing would help me make a positive impact on people’s lives
I was already qualified when I started but my training is ongoing. I’ve already got several things that I’d like to do and my line manager is helping me to prioritise those because you can’t do everything at once! I am encouraged to put forward any training requests that I do have and I would never be told “don’t go for that”; they are always considered.
I don’t spend a great deal of time with the students like the Support Workers do but, having said that, the students that I do work with I see on a regular basis. I build up therapeutic relationships with those students and their parents; I think at times it’s as, if not more, important that I have a strong professional relationship with the parents because they’re going through as much as their kids sometimes, and also because they’re not here – they’ve left their child here and all of a sudden they’ve got all these issues to try and manage.
One of the great things is that you are busy from day one and feel you are effective from the start. You have to hit the ground running but you are always supported. I think it’s important to stress that the role of a School Nurse at Cambian is totally unique. It’s a role of many contrasts and that’s probably what keeps me here. You never know what’s going to happen, who’s going to do what – and that’s the students or the staff! I like challenges, and I find this job rewarding. Make no mistake, it can be frustrating at times but it can also be incredibly exhilarating."
Ruth's Story- Mental Health
I’ve been with Cambian just over a year but I’d been working in residential nursing services before. I’d always known that I wanted a career in care from school so I did a college course and the learning disability and mental health area interested me. I started at a different residential learning disability unit and then transferred to Cambian which is where I am now – at a mental health rehabilitation unit for males.
It’s for patients that have been detained but we also take informal patients as well. It can be long term care, the average stay is about 18 months but it depends on the patient themselves and their individual progress as to how they progress through rehabilitation. We have people here who are detained under the Mental Health Act, people with schizophrenia or other mental health conditions so we work with them to rehabilitate so that they can move on – live in the community either by themselves or in supported living.
&People come in with a diagnosis and a need for full time support but the ultimate goal is to help them to leave – or achieve as much as they can – not everyone can be rehabilitated sufficiently to be able to live independently but their best achievable goal may be to aim for supported living. With the multi-disciplinary team including clinicians and occupational therapists, I assess the needs when someone is admitted. We are given an idea of their history to start with and we assess them over a period of time and put a plan of care in place to help them. We involve the patient – there’s no point in us doing a care plan when the patient is not bothered about it – we need their cooperation to make it work. The care plan develops over time. We start with an admission care plan but over an 8 week period we assess them and then decide, with them, what the areas of need are for them. We use assessment tools for this and each member of the multidisciplinary team has sections within the care plan. The care plan is focused very much on the individual and their ability, and them understanding what is achievable.
I was a qualified staff nurse before I came to Cambian but I did a full two week induction training which included the training that I would need for the job at Cambian. We have online training as and when needed and I have done training in ECG. Quite a few training packages are offered and there’s also opportunity for me to identify areas for training and Cambian is very fair in what they are able to offer everybody. Everyone does the online training. I didn’t do any specific training covering a particular mental condition but if I felt I wanted anything like that there would be the availability to put myself forward, but because of the way the multi-disciplinary team works there is always sharing of experience and the opportunity to learn on the job. If I was stuck on something or In needed information there’s always someone who can help.
You have to expect the unexpected – every day is a different day – no day is the same. When you are working with people who have got mental health problems then I think it’s a case of being aware that there are going to be situations that you’re going to have to deal with and that there are ways of dealing with them. I think you need to have the confidence and have the ability to talk to people – there’s no point coming into a job like this if you can’t communicate with people professionally and the patients themselves because that’s the reason you’re here. You need to get to know the patients as individuals because two people might have similar behaviour but you would deal with them in different ways. You have to be open minded and understand that everyone you are working with is a person – someone’s brother, sister, daughter, son. If you build up a relationship with your patients you can anticipate behaviour, notice triggers, and also any declines as well – that’s very important. For example someone staying in their room all day when they don’t usually do that – that might mean there’s something wrong, but with another patient that might not be the case – they might be fine. You need a lot of patience and self-motivation because a lot of the job is about motivating other people and helping them when they have crisis times in their lives.
I have a good support network so I can deal with times I feel a bit despondent – perhaps when someone’s had a setback or hasn’t made the progress we were hoping for. The nursing team works together so you can discuss things with nursing colleagues and you have regular what we call “supervisions” – meetings with seniors – my head of care or my manager, I have people I can talk to if something’s bothering me. It’s a team that recognises that this is part of the job. And there can be times when it’s very quiet - when you’re talking about mental health a lot of people focus on crisis and challenging behaviour but that’s not actually a major part of the job.
For me personally the reward is knowing that you’re helping a difference in someone’s life, Cambian is about the long term – it’s not about “get them well and get them out”, there’s not that pressure on the turnover. It’s good that you have time to help someone get to a point in their lives and also that they are able to maintain that – not go backwards and sometimes that can take a long time. It’s rewarding when you feel that’s happening, and that someone goes on. The little things like somebody learning to get up in the morning by themselves and have a shower – or even someone who hasn’t ever spoken to you before opening up and being able to sit and have a chat with you. The smaller things that mean a great deal – the sort of things that a job specification can describe.
I think people would benefit from coming to have a look round and see what we do here and see those little achievements – the little steps. I feel I have a career path to follow here, definitely and because it’s such an expanding company there are many options you could take – like for me – I transferred from another service. In a lot of companies you can’t do that because they don’t cover enough conditions or disciplines. Cambian has residential care, term time care; secure care and deals with mental illness and learning disabilities.