Introducing Christopher Taylor, Registered Mental Health Nurse, and Registered Manager of Cheshire House
The areas of mental health and learning disability have always been an important focus for me. As a child, I grew up supporting a parent with long term needs and I have always been passionate about advocating for the most vulnerable people and ensuring that they have access to mainstream services, regardless of any illness or disability.
When I was just 18 years old, I joined the NHS as a community mental health support worker. This role, one that I loved, enabled me to put into practice the skills that I had developed during my early life. I supported people to access employment, find and engage in meaningful activity and manage some very complex symptoms, whilst sustaining a life in the community.
I was then very fortunate to be seconded to complete my nurse training in 2008, which I completed though the Open University, whilst working as a part-time support worker. My nurse training provided me with complete exposure to the role and direct front line experience, whilst also allowing me to benefit from the academic foundations of the course.
With my nurse training complete I worked for several years in older people’s mental health services, acute admission and assessment, community team, day services home treatment- crisis work. My experiences included working with older people with dementia and other common mental health conditions.
Having spent about six years working within different teams of a local Manchester hospital, I felt the time was right to broaden my skills further and seek new opportunities. I spent six months working as a locum nurse, where I was assigned to work at Cheshire House. I also started working at various learning disability services, some forensic and others focussed on challenging behaviour and autism. My intentions at that time were to widen my range of experience and then decide where I would like my career to go- however once I had worked at Cheshire House for a few months, I fell in love with the place. The team struck me as enthusiastic and motivated. The service had faced several challenges, and despite these the team had worked together to review, reflect and resolve these to further enhance the quality of life for those we support.
As Cheshire House Manager, my journey has begun very positively, we received a ‘Good’ rating from the CQC last year, an achievement I am immensely proud of. We continue to work closely with local teams, developing person centred plans, great relationships and provide support which is individual and enabling. Members of the team are progressing in their own career development and those with the skills and expertise are being identified and promoted through roles, including my deputy manager. They all work closely with our positive behaviour team furthering their knowledge and skills inspiring new ways of supporting individuals to set goals and achieve their ambitions. To support this we have begun working towards an exciting Positive Behaviour Intervention role with one of our Learning Disability Nurses which models the positive and proactive support that is embedded throughout the company. Importantly, we create time and space to reflect together on challenges we have faced and collaborate on way to learn and improve upon what we do.
My aim is to create a full, safe and energetic service, which encourages people to maximise their potential. The people we support haven’t always had the best experience, ranging from long stays in hospital to being vulnerable on the streets. Supporting each other and working effectively as a team is key in my opinion to maintaining a quality service which focusses wholly on the individuals we support.