Long-serving worker speaks on living with a hidden disability and NHS career journey

Date: 06 December 2023

Chris Quinn

Chris Quinn, the Trust’s Pathway Coordinator in Acute Medicine, recently spoke about living with a hidden disability and his NHS career journey at a major conference hosted by global MedTech company Becton Dickinson (BD).

Chris’ presentation focused on his career journey in the NHS at Medway, from joining 14 years ago direct from college, to working across a number of vital behind-the-scenes roles, including Ward Clerk and Pathway Coordinator.

Chris was praised by the 550 delegates at the conference for presenting with ‘’skill’’, ‘’personality’’ and ‘’values that ensures he cares effectively for patients, and their families’’, in spite of the communication challenges he lives with every day as a result of managing his semantic pragmatic language disorder (SPLD). SPLD is defined as a hidden disability on the autistic spectrum. Chris enjoyed specialist education as a student and used his own strategies to enter the world of work. Chris ensured the strengths of his communication challenges including his abilities to focus, be consistent and accurate, were showcased to open employers eyes to the untapped recruitment and development market for talented people with hidden disabilities.

Chris was asked to tell his story by BD as the global health organisation seeks to support and employ more people with hidden disabilities to enlighten, enrich, and empower their business and enable BD to increase its talent pool.

Chris has since received messages and feedback on how he touched so many people in the room, and for being an ‘’inspiration for his commitment to patients and for relentlessly giving back.’’ Chris’ story is being showcased across BD’s global ‘Limitless’ campaign and they are so grateful to the way he has contributed to the company’s learning and development.

Catie Claeesen, BD UKI Head of Equality and Diversity said: ”Chris sharing his life journey to our UK and Ireland organisation was an emotional and inspiring moment at our annual conference. We all related to his commitment, professionalism and people-focus and are inspired by his amazing skills, all so brilliantly supported by Medway NHS Foundation Trust. We are using his contribution to power our own 'Limitless' programme to support, empower and celebrate everyone with disabilities.''

Chris said: ''Mastering techniques to help me channel my language disorder is a strength. This means that I can do my job better and deliver care to patients, my colleagues and people in the community much more effectively”.

“I have used this learning to help me in my role as a carer to my partner, which is very satisfying to do as I am ‘giving back’ to people who have helped me”.

“I look forward to NHS celebrating Neurodiversity Week in March 2024 to best recognise the many talents and advantages of being neurodivergent, while celebrating differences and empower every individual.”

  • Summary:

    Chris Quinn, Pathway Coordinator, recently spoke at a major conference about living with a hidden disability and his NHS career journey.