Is your health affecting your ability to find work?

Health Works for Cornwall is part-funded by the European Social Fund.

Turning an unpaid placement into secure paid work

Patrick joined Health Works for Cornwall after being made aware of the organisation through conversations with staff members at the Job Centre and Restart at Reed in Partnership. He had been working as a freelancer on various projects for eight years, including managing an online store, but was looking for a more secure career.

Patrick’s goal was to work for the NHS, as he wanted to be part of a team and positively contribute to the local community. Patrick had been facing barriers to employment due to dyslexia and a back-related injury, and was keen to take on an entry level position to kickstart his NHS career.

With his previous career experience in IT-related work, Patrick began searching for NHS jobs and completing mock applications with support from NHS Health Works for Cornwall Project Coordinator, Kirsty Carter.

Kirsty offered helpful feedback on his personal statements and provided valuable information, both in-person and via email, to help his progress. Patrick also participated in a three-day, virtual ‘Introduction to Working in Health & Care’ course, which he found to be very beneficial, as it highlighted the areas of potential work and opportunities available.

Having discussed his health issues and interest in IT with Kirsty, she connected Patrick with Debby Lewis from Future Workforce at the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust. Patrick was then enrolled on a ten-week placement working for CITS (Cornwall IT Services) in the IT department at Royal Cornwall Hospital Treliske.

Throughout the placement, Patrick had regular contact with both Health Works for Cornwall and Future Workforce. With their support, Patrick moved into a Kernowflex role following completion of the 10-week placement, to gain further work experience and paid work within the NHS.

Patrick is currently working full-time as a bank member of the CITS staff to gain more experience, learn new software and expand his skill set within the department.

This position is a foot in the door of the NHS and the gateway to fulfilling his future ambition to secure a permanent role working for the NHS in the IT department, and being part of a team that is integral to helping the lives of others.

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