A Day in the Life of, WWTW’s NHS Business Manager, Simon Lock
We're introducing you to some of the team behind Walking With The Wounded. Meet Simon, who heads up our HIS service
Tell us a bit about yourself
I served in the Royal Artillery for 22 years and completed my service as Regimental Sergeant Major of 101st (Northumbrian) Regiment based in Napier Armoury, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear.
I always considered myself as a mentor, throughout my career I would support others as much as possible and would much rather coach someone to overcome failings rather than discipline them, this creates a team ethos and empowering environment.
Continuing on the supportive or coaching side of me, I volunteered for the Princes Trust back in 2014/15 as an Assistant Team Leader on their Team Programme helping hard-to-reach 18–25-year-olds to regain control of their life and become a valued member of society.
After leaving the Army, I continued my supportive ways as a Business Development Manager for a training company and then as the scheme manager of a veterans supported housing unit before securing my current role within WWTW.
What does the average day look like for you?
As WWTW’s NHS Business Manager, I now manage a team of 14 Veteran Liaison Support Officers (VLSOs) around the country who are embedded within 4 regional NHS Veterans Mental Health and Well Being, High Intensity Service (HIS) teams.
My team work alongside the NHS practitioners to empower those veterans and family members who are in an acute Mental Health state to get Mental Health support and any social needs they may have at that time.
As well as managing the team, I also support the collaborative NHS partnership group to manage the overarching HIS pathfinder; attending governance and strategical meetings, ensuring the voice of our veterans community is always at the heart of every discussion and decision made.
What is the NHS HIS service and who do you support?
‘Op Courage’ is the new name of the Veterans Mental Health and Wellbeing Service which has been implemented by NHS England and supports veterans and family members with their mental health needs. The High Intensity Service is one part of the Op Courage service and is designed to support veterans and their family members who are at risk of or in an acute Mental Health Crisis.
What do the clients you support struggle with the most?
As you can imagine the main presenting need of the clients our VLSOs support is Mental Health needs.
The VLSOs work with the client to support them n areas such as accommodation, living skills, wellbeing and self-care as well as family engagement and positively engaging with other agencies and services whilst the Mental Health practitioners work on the clients state of mind and setting up ongoing Mental Health pathways.
What is the best bit about your job?
Whilst it is a challenge to manage such a large and dispersed team who have two lines of management, ensuring they are all informed, trained and resourced appropriately, hearing and seeing the outcomes and overwhelming positive stories about how the clinical and non-clinical teams have supported our clients and families when they are at rock bottom, to turn their life around and start to be more positive about life, is absolutely amazing and energising.