Following a robust selection process, Jodie Roberts has been appointed Director of Allied Health Professionals (AHP) for both Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals (DBTH) and Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).

Jodie’s NHS journey began in 2003 at York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals, where the then budding Occupational Therapist undertook Healthcare Assistant work whilst studying at York St John University. Following graduation, Jodie worked at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s Ramptom Hospital, before gaining further experience at a number of mental health services across Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire and North Yorkshire. Eventually rising to the position of Director of Clinical Services within a medium/low secure hospital whilst finding time to complete a Master’s Degree in Business Administration at the same time.

A graduate of the NHS Leadership Academy’s Nye Bevan programme, Jodie joined Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals in 2019 from Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust as Deputy Chief Operating Officer. Initially focused upon enhancing and improving the organisation’s approach to non-elective care and treatment, Jodie was instrumental in the Trust’s response to COVID-19, helping to develop initial plans, as well as, with colleagues, playing a crucial role within the day-to-day operation of hospital services throughout the pandemic.

As Director of Allied Health Professionals for both organisations, Jodie will work directly with both trusts’ respective nursing leadership teams to develop processes, pathways and governance, ultimately enhancing physical and mental health in Rotherham, Doncaster and North Lincolnshire. As lead, she will assume immediate professional responsibility for all AHPs employed by both DBTH and RDaSH, including Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and language Therapy,  Nutrition and Dietetics, Orthotics,  Radiography,  Operation Department practitioners, Orthoptists, Podiatry and Art Therapy.

Upon her appointment, Jodie said: “I am very pleased to have been appointed to this role, and cannot wait to get started. The AHP teams we have across both trusts working across a wide range of specialities in mental health, learning disabilities and in physical health are staffed with incredible individuals and within this role I hope to enhance the services we provide further.

“Throughout my career, but specifically throughout the past 12 months as we have faced down a once-in-a-century pandemic, I have appreciated more than ever the profound impact that AHPs can have upon patients. As Director, I hope to raise the profile of this profession, giving colleagues a strong voice, recognising their incredible efforts and, most importantly, ensuring we provide the best possible service to the people of Bassetlaw, Doncaster, Rotherham and Humberside.

As a joint post, the Director of Allied Health Professionals will work at DBTH three days a week, and RDaSH two.

Speaking in a joint statement, David Purdue, Chief Nurse at DBTH, and Tracey Wrench, Executive Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals at RDaSH, said: “Following a robust recruitment process, we are delighted to appoint Jodie to this joint post. Throughout her career she has shown excellent leadership capabilities, and we hope to harness this for the benefit of our AHP services across both of our respective organisations.

“We would also like to take a moment to thank Mandy Espey, who has undertaken this post in an interim capacity since mid-2019. Mandy led our AHP workforce throughout the pandemic, and for that she deserves our deep thanks and appreciation. We wish her in the very best of luck in her next role at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals.”