Publish date: 7 March 2023

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Today’s ‘What Do You at DHU’ we would like to go to Oldbury in the West Midlands where on 1st March 2023, we took on the West Midlands contract to provide 111 services in the region.

DHU Healthcare has been providing National Contingency calls throughout the winter period from its new base at Birchfield House in Oldbury which is where Health Advisor Sharmane Henry works.

She has only been with us at DHU since just before the New Year, taking calls as a Health Advisor for the past month, but she now has a place in DHU history as being one of the first to take a call as part of the West Midlands service. We wanted to find out more about here…

“It wasn’t a particularly complex call, it was toothache,” Sharmane told us, “but it’s still important for us to make sure we give the right advice because people don’t always know where to go to get the help they need.

“I’ve always been involved in health and care, even in my personal life as I’ve been a carer for my Nan and looked after friends of mine who have had their struggles with mental health. Professionally I also worked in care but in a very different environment, mainly home to home but directly before this I worked as a receptionist at night.

“I wanted to go into nursing initially, but it didn’t quite work out that way and I believe in the NHS so wanted to look at a different way for me to make a difference. I saw the adverts asking for people to join 111 in Oldbury, applied and was really shocked, in a good way, pleased to be given this opportunity and very happy to be here.

“I’m really enjoying it so far. I won’t lie, it can be stressful, the call I’ve just taken (the morning of March 1st) for example was much more complex than the dental query I had earlier and I needed to get clinical support, but that’s what I like about the job. There is plenty of support, the training was good and the more calls I take, the more confident I am. I know that if it’s something I need help with, that help is there quickly and professionally.

“There are opportunities to progress and I’ve already had a chat with my managers about the possibility of moving into coaching. I need to carry on learning and developing in my Health Advisor role for at least six months but I’m enjoying it, learning every day and looking forward to seeing how far I can go.”

A big thank you to Sharmane and to all of our Health Advisors, Clinical Advisors and everyone working as part of our West Midlands 111 team. We’ll be hearing more from Oldbury in the coming months.

Thanks to Sharmane for telling us about her role and keep your eyes peeled for DHU’s next #WhatDoYouDo.

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