Mike Wheeler, Senior Payroll Administrator 

mike wheeler photo

Payroll are like traffic wardens - and just as loved! We don’t set the rules, we have to administer them to ensure that the Trust remains compliant. We understand that pay is a very emotive subject for people and the only time people are interested in Payroll is when something has gone wrong. Payroll is the last stop on the processing route. 

Some people think that all we do is press a button once a month to get people paid. That’s simply not true - some months there are two buttons!

My main task is ensuring that the pay is run and despatched to banks in time for pay day. This involves:

  • Checking received input 
  • Running and checking system reports
  • Processing HMRC files
  • Processing court orders
  • Calculating overpayments
  • Dealing with queries from staff, managers and outside organisations. 
  • Dealing with absences.
  • I do other tasks as well but they’re the main ones my boss forces me to do!

Oh and before you ask, I’m not allowed to add any extra zeros on your pay (I did ask but I was told no!)

Tell us why you are 'Proud to Belong' at SWLSTG

Wait, what? We are supposed to like working here? Why did nobody tell me! I'll go with noone else wanted me! 

Seriously though, there's flexibility in working hours, working from home allows me deal with my elderly mother (or it allows her to keep interrupting me!). The Trust is close to home, the new office at Tolworth is nice and the restaurant looks after us well. Time goes quickly as we're always busy which is much better than having nothing to do. My team has been together for a very long time so we have some really good banter with each other. Oh and obviously I have the best manager (please note for my next PADR!).

Anna Hickey

Anna Hickey, Tissue Viability and Physical Health Nurse

I work within the Physical Health team at the Trinity building in Springfield, focusing on enhancing the physical well-being of our service users. My role involves advising on nursing care for managing long-term and complex conditions, providing staff training on physical health issues, and conducting face-to-face assessments.

In addition to addressing general physical health needs, I serve as the trust's Tissue Viability Nurse (TVN). As a clinical nurse specialist in tissue viability, I offer expertise in maintaining healthy skin and managing complex wounds, including self-harm injuries, surgical wounds, non-healing leg ulcers, and pressure ulcers.

Along with some of my colleagues, I am running a QI project aimed to facilitate the generalization and easy access to wound care items. Clinical items in acute psychiatric wards can be quite scattered, and there is often a lack of consistency in the organization of these items across different wards. This gave rise to the idea of conducting an audit to quantitatively assess the accessibility of wound care items for clinical staff. We have created standardised wound kits and distributed them across various wards with a plan to re-audit to measure the impact of this standardisation. 

Working as a physical health nurse fills me with immense pride because it allows me to provide holistic care that addresses both the physical and mental well-being of patients, a crucial aspect that in the past may have been overlooked. This role not only deepens my understanding of the intricate interactions between mental and physical health but also gives me the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who are often facing their most challenging times, which is profoundly rewarding and fulfilling. Over a 10-year nursing career, predominately working as an intensive care nurse, this has been a big shift for me moving into both mental health services as well as tissue viability however I am enjoying every minute of this new job and feel proud to be part of such an incredible team.

Up close and pawsonal with Isla- a day in the life of a therapy dog

a god laying on the sofa

So, Isla, thank you for making time for our interview: we know your calendar is well booked. You’ve become a familiar sight around Springfield. Tell us how you came here?

Thank you, there is so much for me to do: cuddling young people, going on walks with patients, keeping staff morale up – and chasing the cat who lives near the ward. It’s all in a day’s work for me, though. Anyway, my human decided to change jobs to become part-time, and he was quite excited that he could walk from home to commute to the new job. I walk with him across Wandsworth Common three times a week; my usual patch is Clapham Common, so Wandsworth feels more up-market. I’m now based in Corner House, the national deaf unit for children and young people.

How does your day start?

Well, I simply wake up and look hopeful for something to eat and getting my collar and lead on. My human takes for ever in the shower and then pouring this black stuff down his throat before starting to look less than half-dead. I usually like to check up on the rest of the family and give them a cuddle. The walk starts off on streets, but there are still smells to sniff, especially at the butcher’s (Hennesy’s) and the baker’s (Gail’s), but there’s no candlestick maker, if you ask. Then it’s freedom on the Common. There are a lot of squirrels around (it being autumn) so they need sorting out, dogs to meet and people to see. Before we get to Burntwood Lane, there are some nice woods, although I got bored when my human kept stopping to pick blackberries – to make jam, none of which I have had. The new park in Springfield is great as I can get a bit more time off the lead.

And your work on the ward?

The young people are kind and often wait for me to arrive, so I receive a good welcome. The staff sometimes need cheering up too. I’ll then have a drink and a rest on my bed in my human’s office. People come and go throughout the day to see me. The young people will take me on walks and sometimes to Forest School on a Friday. My previous job was in eating disorders, so I love seeing the Young People on Wisteria too. Sometimes I go there and one of the patients can be upset, but I poke my nose around their door, wait to see their reaction, and they looked relieved as they pat me. 

It sounds as though you are in demand!?

My human complains that he receives emails from around the hospital asking if I can visit, but says anyone would think that I’m more important than him and does he have work to do on the ward. I try to humour him, but I know who’s more popular. 

You are clearly well loved, but have you ever got into trouble in your work?

Well, I don’t speak much about it, but in my last job, a young person smuggled me into the dining room, saying that it would just be a little secret between the two of us. She then fed me this lovely roast beef sandwich (on white bread, with butter, just how I like it). She was delighted and I was happy. But then, someone found out, and people seemed upset about meal plans, calorie deficits and other things. I mean, I like eating, and I was just trying to help. 

I understand you have met Vanessa, the Chief Executive. How did you get on with her?

Oh, yes, I liked her: she made quite a fuss of me, and said that therapy dogs are a good thing. What’s nice too is that she remembers my name, as she should, and simply refers to my human as, “The doctor with the dog”. I did wag my tail and look hopeful about receiving a payroll number, but nothing yet. It would be nice to meet the Board sometime too, so they know more about the work therapy dogs do. 

And, what about your plans for the future?

I like my current job plan: there’s a nice combination of walking, running, being with patients and staff, as well as resting. It’s great when I meet other people, say when I am out in the grounds, so I would like to get to know others more. When I’m with new people, they sometimes say, “What’s not to love!?” I hope that I can keep this up. 

Vincent Young, Senior Financial Controller

Vincent Young, Senior Financial Controller

Tell us a bit about your role here? I work within Financial Services so I ensure that our suppliers get paid and we have a healthy cashflow within in our bank. I look after our treasury, this includes, our bank accounts, cashiers, and charitable funds.

I help our Capita Accountant ensure our Fixed Asset register and all capital reporting is accurately presented. The most important part of my job is helping to complete our Year-end Financial Statements and Interim Reporting to DHSC.

I tend to work in Tolworth on Fridays where you can find me in the Finance Department. I also spend one day per week in Springfield to check in with our Cashiers team and usually hot desk room in the Newton Building on that day.

Sarah, Staff Nurse and Preceptee Mentor

How long have you been working in mental health? I have worked as a RMN within the Trust for just over a year but I have previous experience working with those within mental health as a HCA in an acute CAMHS inpatient unit whilst I was a student nurse.

Did you work in any other area before working in mental health? I have worked as a support worker previously with children and adults with learning difficulties.

Why are you passionate about it? I am passionate about working to support others and teaching which has always been an interest of mine.

What is one of the best things about working in mental health? I love the hands on work and learning something new everyday working with patients aswell as alongside my colleagues

What is the one misconception you think is out there about mental health? People with mental health problems can snap out of it or change if they tried hard enough.