Employee Spotlight OH advisor - Sue Bedford

What is your role at Cordell Health? 

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I am the Occupational Health Nurse Manager, in charge of a rapidly expanding nursing team that supports our clients and their staff both on and off-site. This not only means managing my team and their needs but keeping us all fully up to date on clinical matters such as law relating to mental health and workplace health promotion and clinical governance (i.e. maintaining standards, quality and audit etc). 

I also act as an account manager and clinical lead for clients. This means I act as their first point of call for any clinical issues and support them wherever I am needed.  

One of my favourite parts of the job is being the lead on all of our wellbeing offerings, especially mental health and emotional resilience training, advice for clients and managers either on a case by case basis or general training.

What was your first job?  

My first ever job was at the age of 13 when I worked in a greengrocer on a Saturday.  That might give you some insight into my age, as you could work at 13 then!  It was a really old-fashioned grocers shop.  Although there was a till it didn't work and was used purely as a cash repository, computers were still a way off!  We had to weigh the products and mentally add up the bill as we went. My maths has never been so good!


What has been your favourite project at Cordell Health so far?  

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My favourite project has been the successful implementation of a wellbeing clinic for one of our clients.  The benefits of early intervention are well-known, particularly when it comes to stress-related ill-health and emotional resilience.  We provide an onsite service that offers a confidential ear and tailored signposting for people to get support and information before it gets to the stage where they might need sickness absence.  I'm calling it 'A Return to Tea & Sympathy' and it's been very successful so far with great feedback from the employees and the organisation.  We are looking forward to implementing the service with other clients.


If you could swap jobs with someone... who would it be and why?  

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Any of the Springwatch team, so I could spend my days watching wildlife and getting paid for it!  Plus I would be surrounded by experts who could answer all my daft wildlife questions so I wouldn't have to spend ages on Google.  
Or Colin Firth's personal assistant...


What does a typical day look like for you?  

There's no such thing!  My role is varied where I can be on a client site one day and running training the next.


What is your guilty pleasure? 

Chocolate.  Lots and lots of chocolate.  


What are you most scared of….?  

I don't really have any physical fears, although as I've got older, I've got a little more 'wobbly' at height.  This may put my plan to wing-walk when I'm 80 out of the window.


If you had to write a self-help book what would you call it? 

How to Care Less.  As a society, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the best, have the most and do everything perfectly.  I see so many people who are struggling as they try and juggle all the demands of the 21st century both in their working and personal lives.   Putting ourselves first makes us happier which in turns means we perform at life better - I've seen results with my own eyes.  Yet people still think if I just work a bit harder, it'll get better - if I just work a few more hours I'll get it all done. Actually, the evidence tells us the opposite is true. 


What’s your biggest achievement in life so far? 

Personally, my sons - they are my constant source of inspiration and pride. 

Professionally, achieving 2 fast-tracked degrees with high marks whilst dealing with difficult life circumstances! It was a good lesson in perseverance and that anything is possible.


What advice would you give someone taking up a career in occupational health? 

It’s a great career and a role I have always loved. You will be well supported within the community and the work is varied, interesting and rewarding. It’s an exciting time to become an occupational health advisor too, as the face of the profession is changing as it adapts to the demands of the modern workforce and the way we live.