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Case study for Jacqui who works as a Temp Bank - Community Health Worker

Jacqueline Mellor

Job title: Temp Bank - Community Health Worker

Area of work: Public Health Nursing - East Team

My Name is Jacqueline Mellor. I’m a Bank Community Health Care Worker with Devon County Council, having previously taken early retirement from being a permanent Community Health Care Worker. I previously worked in South Devon but now work across mainly Exeter and East Devon.

When did you start at Devon County Council?

I was actually the 4th CHW employed in post, in Devon, back in 1995 and have remained here ever since.

What made you choose to work for Devon County Council?

Back in 2019, Devon County Council took over the Public Health Nurse service in Devon. To start with, like some others, I was unsure what this would be like as change can be difficult and hard to accept. My fears were quickly elide though.

I find that there are benefits working for Devon County Council, one example is there’s a good pension scheme which I joined when I had drawn my NHS pension. I find this to be on a par with the NHS pension scheme. There are also staff benefits, which are always a good thing. And just recently with some health problems, that I have experienced, I have found that Devon County Council care for their staff.

Can you give an overview of your role?

Community Health Care Workers work with families, with children, aged 0 to 8 years. We work under the supervision of the Health Visitors, we complete 1 year and 2.3 year developmental reviews providing support and referring back to the Health Visitor or onto the appropriate services when required.

We support families with health and developmental topics such as behaviour, infant feeding, weaning, toileting and sleep. Some of our Community Health Care Workers will run sleep clinics. We also work alongside the Named Health Visitor with families on an Early Help Plan or Safeguarding Plans. We will also help with returning calls to parents from the Duty Hub.

How did you come to be in this role?

I became interested in the role after having my own children. My Health Visitor at the time said a new role was being created for Community Health Care Workers and on discussion with her it gave me the boost to apply for the post.

What support did you receive when you joined Devon County Council?

I have regular supervision every 4 to 6 weeks and staff have yearly appraisals. There is mandatory and non-mandatory training for everyone to complete. I have found that there is always encouragement from management to progress within the role. Just recently, 3 Community Health Care Workers have completed the Advanced Practitioner course which was sponsored by Devon County Council.

I had the basic knowledge of childcare when I first started the role. Through training and shadowing other Community Health Care Workers and Health Visitors I became confident in my role, and I support Community Health Care Workers who are new to the post, helping them to consolidate their knowledge and practice.

What do you enjoy the most about what you do?

I enjoy all aspects of my role but interacting with the families and supporting them is possibly the most rewarding, knowing that it has helped them support their children to reach their full potential.

What benefits do you enjoy?

I’m on the bank, so this flexibility fits into my family life. I have also joined the pension scheme, which is always a good thing. Knowing that you have a fair employer is reassuring.

Working from home, when you can, I feel is a great benefit and even though not a big part of the role I’m amazed at what I can achieve when I do.

What do you enjoy about living and working in Devon?

I have always lived in Devon and it’s beautiful county. Where you are based, you are never far from the coast or the moorland, where you can have lots of long walks in refreshing air. Being able to have a job I enjoy and feeling respected in is also a bonus.