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Peter's return to practice story

Peter is part of our allied health professionals here at #TeamCDDFT and he has kindly shared his return to practice story.


Coming to the realisation that it was time to begin my return to practice journey took me nearly a year and filled me with great optimism about the opportunities along with periods of doubt and dread, regarding to what I was about to undertake and the steep learning curve I was about to embark on.


My journey started with gathering information about what was involved in the process of returning to practice. I needed to complete 60 days of updating my skills and knowledge after nearly 10 years out of practice.


I contacted the return to practice team within HEE and the RCOT return to practice lead who provided me with information, guidance and support which enabled me to build my confidence and resilience in this journey I wanted to begin.


I contacted various NHS trusts within my local area by email and phone over a number of months with little to no response, mainly down to the pandemic making it difficult to support my return to practice journey provided me with a great deal of frustration.


In April 2021, I received a reply to one of my emails from my future Return to Practice Educator, Jeanette Mason (Lead Occupational Therapist), to discuss how and what support CDDFT Occupational Therapy Team could offer me on my journey.


After lots of emails and a couple of face-to-face meetings over the next few months, and lots of planning and support from Jeanette regarding gaining an honorary contract, along with supporting my learning, answering my many questions, supporting me though my self-doubt and allowing me to complete my self-directed learning, reassured me that CDDFT Occupational Therapy team was there to provide guidance and support my journey.


For the first few days, I was filled with a great deal of self-doubt and imposter syndrome took over me, this was all taken away by the great support offered by the whole CDDFT OT team who were always open and willing to listens and support to me, and providing me with any opportunity to learn and progress.


Throughout my return to practice, I was activity supported with spending time within multiple areas of across CDDFT, which help me to continue and practice my skills and knowledge I had gained and allowing me to learn how OTs and the OT process is integral to providing a high level of patient care, support and outcomes.


Upon completing for my return to practice, I was provided with great encouragement and backing to restart my OT practice my applying and successful gaining a Rotational Band 5 position within CCDFT where I have continued to be fantastically supported and encouraged to continue my development and learning.


The journey and opportunity provided to me by CDDFT and the Occupational Therapy team is something which I will be forever grateful for and hopefully further Occupational Therapist returning to practice within CCDFT and take advantage of the fantastic opportunities on offer.

'Every aspect of my emergency care was dealt with quickly, efficiently and professionally with full explanations and compassion from all staff involved'.

Patient, Emergency Department, Darlington Memorial Hospital