Lauren Walker, professional adviser, Royal College of Occupational Therapists
"Occupational therapy was a second career for me. I had an arts background and my first degree was in drama. I really did think I’d be a famous actor at one time!
I did a few jobs after graduating, including working in theatre administration, but I really enjoyed performing and connecting with people."
There are many neurodivergent people working in the health sector. In the mental health field, their experiences often make them far more empathetic and understanding with patients which can, in turn, help improve services.
Assessment centres are increasingly common in the NHS particularly when recruiting nurses. They are also used in cases when there are a large number of applicants – such as for graduate roles, overseas recruitment drives or where there has been a specific recruitment campaign for a type of role. It means employers can make multiple job offers on the same day.
A psychiatrists job is to diagnose and treat mental health conditions in persons of all ages. Psychiatry is a branch of medicine that comprises six specialties – child and adolescent psychiatry, forensic psychiatry, general adult psychiatry, medical psychotherapy, old age psychiatry and psychiatry of learning disability. Psychiatry is the fifth largest medical specialty in the UK
Pay for nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists and most other staff in the NHS is set according to a set pay scale called Agenda for Change (AfC). The basic pay bands apply to all such staff working outside London and the surrounding areas.
Agenda for Change, the pay scale for most NHS staff including nurses, occupational therapists and psychologists, includes additional payments, called the high cost area supplement (HCAS), intended to compensate staff for the additional costs of living in London and the surrounding areas.