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Employment NHS Allied Health Professional

bananapancakes99 Community member Posts: 6 Connected

I'm looking to train as a Clinical Psychologist in the NHS. I'm a wheelchair user with CP. Allied Health professionals have to be registered with the Healthcare Professions Council. I thankfully now have a job but it took a ridiculously long time.

Do the HPC have any guidelines on disability adjustments and capability in these professions/an advice line. Would be useful to addess some of the concerns of future emplyees. Many of my job rejections were due to disability concerns (but were addressed so that I couldnt claim discrimination!)

Anybody got any ideas (looking at you psychologists, radiographers, physios, speech and language etc)


  • Snowbird
    Snowbird Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    Hello @bananapancakes99

    Regrettably, I am unable to respond specifically to your post myself, regarding "guidelines on disability adjustments" as it is outside my field but I have taken the liberty of passing your query onto my daughter who is a physiotherapist in case she has any thoughts.  

    In the meantime, I assume you have looked for answers on-line?  As a general point of law though, all professions, employers, and education providers have to abide by equality legislation and are obliged to provide reasonable adjustments. This is, in theory anyway, non-negotiable but I expect you know this.  I also wonder what kind of concerns you might have that might differ from anyone else with CP, or another wheelchair user, wanting to get into the workplace or seeking a career change.

    Generally speaking, I do know that Physiotherapy seems to be the PAM (professions allied to medicine) of choice for those wanting a clinical career with the NHS who have visual impairments or are registered blind.  This is no new thing as I had a blind physiotherapist back in the early 1970's!  They work mainly - or entirely - through touch but I cannot get my head around how this works when it comes to assessing someone's gait which, one might reasonably imagine, can only be done via observation.  Obviously this will rely on some audio description but, whatever is used, it will be a reasonable adjustment.  

    I cannot second guess what support needs you might have other than access for your chair but, if you are hospital based, by the very nature of its business, everywhere should be wheelchair accessible.  Working out in the community could pose some challenges which the employer would need to circumvent. You might need to think about the area of your interest and be prepared to be flexible.  For instance I am not sure how many prisons would be wheelchair accessible for staff, especially older ones.

    If you are really interested in training to be a clinical psychologist, I would suggest tracking one or two down and talk to them, either over the phone or in person.

    I would imagine that you would have a lot to offer a client/patient so I wish good luck in pursuing this career path if this is what you decide to do and I'll let you know in due course if my daughter has anything more to add.

    Best wishes,

    PS  All organisations should have an E&D (Equality & Diversity) Statement.  I've just checked out the HPC's and they say they "are committed to preventing discrimination, valuing diversity and achieving equality of opportunity in all that [they] do".  If you have not already done so, why not give them a ring and discuss your concerns with them  (0300 500 6184).

  • Snowbird
    Snowbird Community member Posts: 6 Listener
    PPS  @bananapancakes99

    My daughter says she cannot add anything to what I have already said.  So, Snowbird's advice is to make any further enquiries you feel you need to, in order to ensure it is what you really want to do, including course providers, and if it is, Go For It.

    Don't worry about it not working out for now if it is your dream.  Best case scenario is that you will  be gainfully employed at the end of it.  (Thinking about it, you may find there is scope to be your own boss and work from home.) And, worst case scenario, if it doesn't work out, at least you will have tried.

    I followed my dreams a few years ago and made a long return to my birth county to be nearer family and to take up my dream job.  In short, the dream crashed and burned!  It failed on so many different levels, so I will just leave it here. However, it is often true that when one door closes, another opens and a legacy from my parents gave me other choices. Nearly 3 years later I recently moved into a fully accessible bungalow, 250 miles away.

    Life is not perfect if for no other reason than this is not realistic but early indications are that it will suit me better. No one knows what the future will bring, and hindsight is wonderful but largely unhelpful other than, where appropriate, a learning tool. For me, I made the best decision I could at the time (10 years ago) with the information etc available (which is the best anyone can do) and followed my dream.

    In my experience there is peace to be had in trying and only angst in "What ifs".

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

  • the_velvet_girl
    the_velvet_girl Community member Posts: 108 Courageous
    I'm an AHP in the NHS & have found that any adaptations or adjustments have came from Occupational Health rather than the HCPC. If there is any doubt that your disability might stop you from being fit to practice, I would get advice from the HCPC before you start your training. A girl in my class at uni wasn't allowed to register as an AHP due to mental health problems as she could have been a risk to patients. I felt sorry for her as she got her degree but then couldn't actually practice our profession.
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