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International Day of Persons with Disabilities

One of Our Nurses

Hello everyone!

I am a registered nurse, who has worked at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust for the last five years.

I am currently living with rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, which are life-long and debilitating conditions. These can be a daily struggle due to the pain and fatigue, however I have learnt to ‘listen to my body’ and rest when necessary.

I would like all staff to recognise that not all disabilities are visible for everyone to see, and can be ‘hidden’. Disabilities can unfortunately occur for people of all ages too.

Barrie Morgan-Scrutton

Hello, my name is Barrie Morgan-Scrutton (He, Him, His), and I am the Education Data Support Analyst, Ambassador for Dyslexia and Equality Champion (Dyslexia and LGBTQ+) at the Trust.

I have worked at the Trust for 13 years.
I am Dyslexic, NeuroDiverse and have hearing loss.
The best way to support ANYONE who is NeuroDiverse is is to ASK, ‘How best can we support YOU?’, as we all need differing levels of support and specific equipment.
In my role as Ambassador for Dyslexia for the Trust, I have seen how a disability can effect a person, in a positive and negative way.
Once I meet with members of staff to discuss what dyslexia is and the way in which they do things, they start to understand we do things in a different way.
When I see the ‘light bulb’ moment from staff, that they understand they are not on their own and other people do things in the same way.
Just because I have a disability, doesn’t mean I can’t for fill my role. If you have a disability, you need to OWN it!
Educate everyone to understand it and to fully support you.
My Dyslexia is my SUPERPOWER!

Emma Wright

Hello, my name is Emma Wright, and I am the Divisional Clinical Governance Manager in Diagnostics and Clinical Support Division.

I have worked at the Trust for 21 years – half my life!

I have degenerative disc disease with spinal osteoarthritis, which limits my mobility. I also have a connective tissue disorder that makes my joints lax and causes ongoing damage to the joints and tendons in all my joints. It also gives me a floppy airway and poor abdominal wall muscle that has been repaired twice following hernias and now has a mesh in-situ to hold the abdominal contents safely in place.

I have IGE positive severe allergic asthma and have treatment monthly for this and will all my life. I am a diabetic and despite numerous medication regimes, due to my other medications and physical limitations, I have large fluctuations in my blood sugars. I have quite a few hypers which make me sound drunk, and nd hypos leave me feeling very fatigued. I have had so many operations that I have lost count. Numerous tendon repairs, several spinal surgeries including the implantation of a Spinal column stimulator for pain relief and even the removal of a precancerous mole.

However I am still a human being who is good at my job, as well as being a wife, a mother, and a full person.  There are many things I can’t do or need assistance with and any help is always appreciated. I would always prefer people to ask me outright rather than fuss around the subject. I have been disabled for a long time and I am happy with myself and my situation, but it has taken a long time to feel that way and it has been a long hard journey that I have been supported on by my family and friends as well as the Pain team at Royal Preston Hospital.

What still upsets me is the lack of compassion and understanding shown by some people who stare and tut at me when I go past in my wheelchair or scooter, as well as comments about using disabled parking spots or accessible toilets because I look ‘normal’. Not all disabilities are visible, and we need more compassion and empathy in the world, especially now.

Debra Chippendale

Hello, my name is Debra Chippendale, and I am a Psychology Administrator & PA to Head of Service at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I have worked at the Trust for 19 years.

I had a stroke in 2018 and now live with executive functioning and high level reasoning problems – mainly concentration, focus, thought processing, memory, word-finding problems as well as fatigue, anxiety, slurred speech and depression. My disability is a hidden one – you can’t tell I am disabled by looking at me – but I know I am in my head and how it doesn’t work the same as it used to.

I have found a lot of support through my manager who is great with regular 1:1s and we have completed the disability agreement and review it every month if necessary.  Part of my agreement is flexible working and the chance to take time off at short notice to rest so I can maintain my full time job. I have bought extra annual leave so I can take more time to rest without losing my holidays or taking sick leave. I can attend the mental health drop-ins to support how I feel and help me deal with the pressures of life and work that are made worse by my disability and anxiety. I worry I am not as good as I used to be, but each day I prove myself wrong.  With a bit of time and patience with myself, I can still be a useful employee.

Kate Smyth

Hello, my name is Kate Smyth, and I am a Non-Executive Director (member of the board) at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. I have worked at the Trust since February 2019.

I have had multiple sclerosis for more than 31 years, and am unable to move from the neck down. I have a bright red wheelchair which I am able to steer with my head and an extremely handsome golden retriever assistance dog called Zy!

At work, I am supported by a Job Aid who is paid for through Access to Work.

Get in touch

Chorley and South Ribble Hospital

Preston Road



01257 261222

Royal Preston Hospital

Sharoe Green Lane




01772 716565

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