Gareth
Quick facts

From Bradford
Lives on the Isle of Anglesey
Enjoys family trips to the beach and local parks

Where did you live before?

I lived in the city of Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.

Where do you live now?

I live in a small village near Holyhead called Valley on the Isle of Anglesey.

What attracted you to the area?

The sheer beauty of North Wales.  The rolling countryside, the mountains, the varied coastline from beautiful sandy beaches to rugged cliffs, the cleanliness of the area and friendliness of the people.  Who could really ask for anything more!!

With living on the Isle of Anglesey you are never too far away from a beach, as there are loads of hidden beaches and coves where you can enjoy peace and tranquillity and with Anglesey having its own micro- climate you are usually guaranteed the sun (however, don’t hold me to that!).

What do you and your family enjoy doing in your free time in North Wales?

I am married with two young children and we enjoy going to the beach near to where we live, going to Newborough forest, which is a short drive away to see the red squirrels, walking around Breakwater Country Park and Penrhos Coastal Park in Holyhead.

What do you like best about working for the health board here in North Wales?

The best thing for me would have to be that the health board understands about the work life balance and have been very supportive. We receive a generous amount of annual leave over the year and there is good communication between the chief executive and the rest of the staff in the health board with regular newsletters and emails.

The health board have structured mandatory training course and also other training courses which you are encouraged to attend where possible, so you can gain more skills and knowledge. There is a yearly review with your line manager where you can discuss things that have gone well or not gone well over the year, what training you would like to do and what your managers would like you to do etc.  This is a very positive and constructive review.

Staff are very friendly and happy to help and support you. I was given the opportunity to learn the welsh language so I could use it in the work place and make the ‘active offer’ of speaking in the patients desired language.  My managers and team member have been very supportive with this and will let me try to speak and write to them through the medium of welsh.

Overall a great place to work and develop your career in whatever job you do, with a good wage, pension, training and staff benefits.

What does a typical working day involve?

I have a very varied day to tell the truth and not every day is the same.  I work in a community hospital where I assemble discharge prescriptions and give advice/training to elderly patients on their medication, I work with several GP practices to help them with the enhanced service project that they signed up for, I visit patients houses to give extra training and support, I have to review certain types of prescriptions each month to check to see if they are correct and legal and carry out care home reviews,  but to name a few.  There is never anytime to get bored!

What development and support have you received?

My son was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease last year which knocked us all for six, and he has had a lot of clinic appointments in Alder Hey and our local hospital, wheelchair assessments, illnesses etc and my managers have been so supportive and understanding. 

On the development side I have progressed to an accredited checking technician and an accredited medicines management technician.  These were in house training courses which have been paid for by my manager/employer and after completion it gave me more knowledge, skills, responsibilities and a pay increase!

What are the top 3 things that make your job so special?

Having the time for patients - after all that's why we are here! The ability to provide a bilingual service. I am currently learning Welsh and I always make the first contact with a patient bilingual. 

Educating patients so that they get the most out of their medication.  This helps with compliance and helps to reduce adverse drug reaction which can lead to hospitalisation.

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