Ley Rattlidge – Pride of DPT Inspirational Colleague Award (Clinical) winner

Posted by Devon Partnership Trust in #ProudofDPT, News on 17th April, 2024

The Inspirational Colleague Award (Clinical) recognises an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to our organisation, often not fully realising the value they bring. This person is a constant support to those around them and is someone who inspires and encourages colleagues on a daily basis even at times of extreme pressure.

This year’s joint winner (alongside Sarah Bright) was Ley Rattlidge, Clinical Team Lead for Torbay and West Devon Community Perinatal Mental Health Teams. We spoke to her about how to feels to have won the award, the main purpose of her role, and the career path she has taken.

How does it feel to have won a Pride of DPT award?

Absolutely wonderful! I feel genuinely proud, grateful and thankful to have this opportunity. Also, having validation from my teams, confirming that I am effective within my role, is truly special.

This comes at a beautiful time as I embark on a new clinical leadership role within perinatal, ending my current role as clinical team leader after nearly five years. It means the world to me. I never thought I would be in a leadership position, and these past five years have been a huge learning curve, not only practically speaking but also in terms of self-development. Achieving this means so much. It makes me realise the importance of a safe and nurturing environment, not only in relation to my leadership team colleagues, but also with the staff that I manage.

What is the main purpose of your role? And what does a typical day look like?

I am in a managerial role for two community perinatal mental health teams. I am responsible for the management and clinical leadership of a relatively large multi-disciplinary team, including nurses, social workers, a social work apprentice, nursery nurses, and occupational therapists. Originally, I was the only manager, managing admin and peer support as well, but the role has recently been split across three full-time Band 7’s.

What are your/your team’s current priorities?

Our current priorities are to achieve the best clinical care possible for mothers in the perinatal period, working towards good mental health and a positive attachment with their babies, within a family oriented approach. My priority is also to ensure that staff are adequately supported and developed in this very challenging and highly emotive work.

What qualifications and training do you have? And what career paths have you taken?

I am a social worker by background. After qualifying in 2009, I realised my strengths and interests lie in working in a relational and psychological way. I have always had a keen interest in the impact of childhood trauma, and trained in SAGE and both standard and Radically Open Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (RO DBT), whilst working in the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) ten years ago. Given my interest and belief in making sense of things through the lens of trauma and attachment, stepping into perinatal mental health was a natural progression. Since working in this service, I have trained in various aspects of perinatal care and intervention, providing me a robust foundation for a leadership role.

What are some of the challenges you face in this role?

The role can feel challenging from start to finish – this may be due to the typical day-to-day pressures of running a team, the clinical acuity or the initial sense of imposter syndrome. It is challenging to maintain high quality care and passion for the work as central to what you do, while leading the teams to feel supported.

What do you enjoy most about this role?

Aside from the clinical aspect of the work, I am very passionate about offering colleagues a positive and safe working environment.

What motivates you?

Along with the above, passion and compassion are infectious and can grow within a team. My teams motivate me; they are kind, compassionate and supportive.

What achievement are you most proud of?

Without sounding cliché – this! And ending a role I felt I could never do and becoming a leader. If it wasn’t for the kind and motivating consultant strongly encouraging me five years ago, I would have got in my own way. My team and manager have also encouraged and supported me throughout.

What's the best bit of feedback you have received from a patient or service user?

The nomination I read for this award came from one of our peer support workers. This feedback is truly special to me because it bridges the experience of the service user and the person now employed within the service, whom I have managed. It gives me a sense of achievement in ensuring positive outcomes and progression for both the families we work with and the colleagues I work alongside.

Additionally, as I feel it is important in a leadership role to demonstrate humility, and above that authentic vulnerability when it is present, I would like to be open enough to say that I have struggled with feelings of not being ‘good enough’ within my role at times. That I am somehow an imposter. I know this is something a lot of people feel. This sense is something that stands alongside me as a shadow at times, but this feedback helped me to shine a light and realise my ability and worth within my role.

What do you do to unwind?

I spend a lot of time drawing, generally using digital media. My art takes various forms, and I also create digital brushes to create my drawings and paintings. This allows me to focus my mind and shift my attention away from the busyness of my thoughts.

And finally… how would you sum up your role in one word?


Find out more about each Pride of DPT award category, this year's winners and who was highly commended, by visiting our dedicated Pride of DPT 2023 page