Lydia Jones –Director of Therapies
Starting as a healthcare apprentice 16 years ago, intent on making a difference to patients, Lydia Jones is now one of the youngest directors working for the NHS, making sure patients receive the best care possible.
The thirty-three-year-old has just been appointed as Director of Therapies at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust (SWBH).
Lydia started her journey at the Trust at a very young age and worked her way up the ranks. She explained: “I started my apprenticeship at the Trust when I was 17-years-old.
“And thanks to the support I received, I was not only able to finish the programme, but I went on to complete my university degree with first-class honours in physiotherapy and in December I will graduate with an NHS leadership master’s degree.
“It has been a challenging, but rewarding journey and I couldn’t thank the Trust, my mentors, and colleagues enough for supporting me all the way.”
She added: “Whilst completing my physiotherapy degree, during university breaks, I worked in cardiac rehab at City Hospital. After graduating, I was offered a job as a physiotherapist at the Trust.”
She explained: “I enjoy looking after patients and helping them maximise their potential. There is no better feeling than seeing patients achieve their goals and regain confidence.
“By moving into a senior leadership role, it gives me the opportunity to influence large scale change, develop patient services, and ensure patients receive seamless care across their pathway, which can impact hundreds of patients in a positive way – which is what motivated me to become a leader within the NHS.”
Lydia recalled the time when she was an apprentice: “I loved every minute of it. I completed apprenticeship placements within admin and clerical, care assistant and therapy assistant roles across the Trust. This enabled me to gain numerous skills whilst realising my passion for physiotherapy.”
So what will be Lydia’s goals for this new role as a director? She explained: “My new role will see me working closely with our partners, such as patient groups, clinical commissioning groups, voluntary services, community services and GPs to deliver a seamless integrated service for our patients, ensuring our care pathways are designed to deliver patient centred care.
“As I’m new in the role, I’m taking stock of the services we deliver and discussing with the teams, patients and our partners opportunities to improve our services. Building positive working relationships is really important for integration so this is another focus. Every day presents a different opportunity.”
So who is Lydia’s inspiration?: “My NHS Hero is Fiona Shorney, group director of operations for Primary Care, Community and Therapies at SWBH. She is well respected for her knowledge, professionalism and passion in making a difference to patients. She is a good role model and supported me to develop.”
Despite her busy schedule at work, Lydia loves spending her spare time playing her favourite sport, golf. She said: “I love it and I try to play weekly with my family and friends, at my local club Dartmouth. Last year, I was lucky enough to claim the club’s Ladies Rose Bowl title.”