After working as an Occupational Therapist in social care all over the country for almost 30 years, Alison O’Hara joined NRS Healthcare in 2020, excited about a new challenge.
She initially took up the role of Occupational Therapist for NRS Community Equipment contract with Southampton and Portsmouth Councils and is now also the Clinical Regional Manager for the southern region.
As a therapist, her role is a mixture of training, advising on catalogue items and queries from prescribers. She also works closely with the specials technician to ensure returned special items are recycled and catalogued, ready to be reused.
As Clinical Regional Manager, Ali, as she is better known, supports the clinical teams across the southern depots and oversees the supervision of the clinical teams, clinical development and recruitment. She has also worked with product development colleagues across the business to introduce and critique equipment that can be used in the community for those needing support to live independently in their own homes. Within the Southampton and Portsmouth depots, NRS has introduced its own Community Bed as the main bed on catalogue and this is now being used within the community.
“This is an enjoyable part of the role as it enables the clinical team to be involved in new developments across the business. We can make a difference and change can be implemented quickly.”
After leaving school, Ali, wanted to be a nurse and began her training in a Cheshire hospital, but through that discovered she wanted a more practical way of helping people to become independent, looking at adaptations and then went onto study Occupational Therapy at York St John University.
Since joining NRS Healthcare, Ali said she particularly enjoyed being involved in the set up the two new warehouses when the company took over the running of Integrated Community Equipment Services in Southampton and Portsmouth. One of the main highlights for Ali is working with many different people, both within the company and outside NRS.
“As well as the variety of my roles, I really working with lots of different people. NRS Healthcare is a fantastic place and I have a lot of contacts with other Occupational Therapists, which is good for networking, sharing best practice and it also means you have a good support system. I work closely with prescribers and often get asked about what equipment I would recommend, and I enjoy describing more about what we can offer and how it works. I previously used to develop and run equipment training in my previous roles and host training sessions here at NRS for prescribers to undertake. I enjoy this element very much.
“I also feel extremely valued working across both the depots in Southampton and Portsmouth. There is a great team spirit there and has been since NRS first won the contracts and I worked alongside the Service Centre Manager, Mike Cutler, and Dave Jenkins, the Operational Manager, to get the depots up and running. As well as working incredibly hard, we also have fun which is something that doesn’t always happen in other jobs. I feel extremely valued working there and also with the clinical teams. Our Clinical Director Rachel Seabrook is inspirational and ensures we remain integrated and significant.”