A week in the life of an Assistant Service Manager at a Mental Health Trust

Posted by: Amy Richards - Posted on:


I know there have been a few blogs with similar titles but every role on the graduate scheme is so different I thought it would be useful to depict my week.


Annual Leave! I have found taking annual leave to be a really simple process so far, I haven’t had any issues with taking days or weeks off. The only advice I would offer is to try and time it well and spread it out across the year; you may miss out on things on your placement if you were off for a full three weeks!


Catching up on emails to start the day off; I like to have a quick read through my emails in the morning then prioritise the tasks for the day ahead. We also get a free subscription to the Health Service Journal as part of being on the graduate scheme so it is good to keep up to date with what is going on in Health nationally. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) are currently visiting our Trust so I am doing a few pieces of work helping services pull together all their existing governance structures and prepping staff for the potential arrival of CQC. One of the main services I work with has never had an inspection before so it is important staff know what to do if an inspector arrives!

I then spent the afternoon meeting with our ‘EPIC link worker’ who works in a role linking in the Pakistani Muslim Centre with our Trust to improve outcomes for those from South Asian Communities. She is planning a conference to share learning with the community and I have designed posters and leaflets for the event. I also pulled together a conference report detailing what happened at the conference last year to inform people of what the day will be like. Projects like this are so important to ensure equality of access to our service.


Senior Team Meeting with the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) team. This is a twice monthly meeting where senior members of the team get together to discuss a variety of operational and strategic matters. The agenda varies slightly each time depending on the service need but it is always a jam packed meeting. It is great to have exposure to senior members of staff and link it with people across the services.

I spent the afternoon completing some of my actions from the meeting, including writing a training and development policy to introduce a procedure for staff to apply for conferences and training.

The final part of my day was spent at a steering group meeting regarding the ‘Working Win’ service, which is a Health Led Employment Trial which has been introduced to our service this year with the aim to help people in work and struggling or out of work and wanting to work. There is much crossover between mental health and employment issues so I am excited our service is involved with the trial.


Various pieces of work to focus on, including writing up notes from an on-going investigation, chasing up an issue with risk registers and then a meeting with the IAPT Business and Admin manager to plan a restructure of our management and clinical leads meeting and create terms of reference for each meeting.


My last blog was about a piece of work I am doing regarding probationary police officers spending time at our trust to learn more about mental health and broaden partnership working. The day is spent planning the next lot of placements, liaising with team/service areas and creating the welcome letters to send out to the police. Fridays are also usually spent looking at the week ahead and seeing if anything needs to prepared, I have an exciting week on next week. This is a quick overview of what I will be doing just to give you a flavour of my role:

Monday – shadowing the business manager at the Gender Identity Clinic to learn more about the service

Tuesday – an away day with the senior operational managers of our care network

Wednesday – IAPT managers performance meeting

Thursday – interviewing for a receptionist post

Friday – Action Learning Set with grad scheme colleagues in Leeds

Please tweet me if you have any questions or want to find out more about my role!


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Alert: GMTS Scheme applications are now closed for 2024 entry