Dr Nick Lake: Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Director of Clinical Strategy, Joint Director for Psychology and Psychological Therapy, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

When did you start in the NHS?

August 1993.

Why did you choose to work in the NHS?

I had a deep interest in and passion for using psychological knowledge and techniques to help make people’s lives better. I also wanted to do this in an environment where I could offer this service to people who were in the greatest need, irrespective of income or background. Over time, my commitment to the NHS has been further strengthened through a deep appreciation of all the colleagues I work with. They are passionate individuals who share a common commitment to making people’s lives better, and they do so with warmth, humour and real skill.

Describe what you do in 100 words

As a practicing psychologist, I now primarily work with people who have experienced trauma, including many ex-servicemen. I also provide teaching, supervision and support to other psychologists and psychological therapists, as well as to staff who need my support. It is also my job to help our organisation to describe and develop the type and range of services we need moving forwards to continue to provide high quality mental health care in a challenging financial environment.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Seeing people recover from very difficult life events.

How would you describe the NHS in one word?

Indispensable.

What advice would you give to someone who was thinking about working in the NHS?

Working with people’s pain can be challenging, but seeing people recover, and knowing that you have helped with this, is one of the most rewarding things you can do in a job. And yes – the NHS is stretched – and yes – at times this can feel overwhelming, but you are working alongside hundreds of thousands of other colleagues who share your values and commitment, so we are all in it together. Knowing you are part of such a team – a community of people who care – is just so rewarding!

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