A community learning disability nurse has been honoured after almost 30 years’ service.
Phillip Lloyd, community learning disability nurse and care manager at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has been awarded the Queen’s Nursing Institute Long Service Award in recognition of his work supporting people with learning disabilities.
The former RAF air traffic controller applied for voluntary work in the special unit of a local school while he was stationed at RAF Boulmer.
He quickly realised it was the career he wanted to follow, and began his nursing training in 1982. He qualified in 1986 and was offered a post as a community learning disability nurse based at Northgate Hospital in Morpeth.
Three months later he was offered the chance to work with a colleague in Berwick and the surrounding area – including Alwinton, Wooler, Belford and Seahouses – to establish a learning disability service in north Northumberland.
Phillip said: “It has been so rewarding to be able to provide a service for people which helps them to achieve their full potential.I have worked in north Northumberland for the whole of my career, and I am fortunate to have daily face-to-face contact with the people I support, so I have been able to build up extremely strong contacts and bonds with people.
“The biggest development in north Northumberland has been respite. Previously for people to have breaks from home, they had to travel long distances, but now with schemes like Shared Lives which provides short breaks as well as long term arrangements for adults with learning disabilities in carers’ own homes, we are able to offer people much more choice in the variety of respite options closer to their own homes.”
Phillip supports 27 adults with learning disabilities. His role includes helping people develop the skills they need to reach their full potential. This can be physical skills, such as washing and dressing, or more complex skills such as helping someone who is living independently to manage their budget.
He said: “I have enjoyed it so much, visiting people every day, working with them over the years, and seeing how their lives and the services we can offer them have improved.”