Paul Dorrington (Phoenix Transformational Services) was one of the first members of my team who, in early 2000, implemented and pioneered the IPS model of evidence based vocational rehabilitation into NHS acute adult psychiatric services in London. He was not just professional, he helped create the profession that is now universally recognised as the most effective model of its kind. Paul worked with people with severe and enduring mental health conditions and other complex needs including people with dual diagnosis of addictions, proving time and time again that helping people to get a job, build a career or set up a business helps people rebuild lives of meaning beyond adversity. I am very excited to see Paul expanding his knowledge, skills and services in his own business to serve people and businesses around the world. Added to his experience of overcoming the extreme adversity of his own mental health issues and addictions from a young age, Paul quite literally walks his talk and brings a passion to his work that cannot be quantified in words, but is repeatedly demonstrated with his results for his clients and the businesses with whom he works.
Paul is an innovator and a leader in the field of mental health Vocational Rehabilitation. I worked with him in a Community Mental Health Team for several years and his enthusiastic, can-do attitude gets incredible results. Return to some form of employment is, in my view, just as important, if not more important, than any medication or therapy I can provide as a psychiatrist.
I thoroughly recommend Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist Paul Dorrington, having worked with him in the NHS community mental health teams. He was instrumental in getting so many of my patients back in to employment in a suitable vocation and this was a key factor in improving their mental health and keeping them stable. So many of my patients said the role of the employment specialist is what helped them the most to recover and stay stable. I could not recommend him highly enough and I will continue to refer suitable clients to his care.
I have known Paul Dorrington for a number of years now since he started working in a Community Mental Health Team as an Employment Specialist. Paul brings a truly client centred approach to his work and he employs a strengths based model. For example, I learnt from Paul that a service user did not have to be deemed mentally stable by clinicians, before they could start to actively consider their employment opportunities. My experience of Paul, as a colleague, is that he is very knowledgeable and dedicated professional who brings a real energy and dedication to the workplace. Paul is able to develop very effective working relationships with a wide range of key stakeholders including employers. Paul has an excellent and sustained track record with regards to supporting people, who have severe and enduring mental health needs, to secure meaningful employment. Indeed, many of the people that Paul has supported had not been employed for a number of years. It is these outcomes that have been crucial with regards to people securing a successful recovery. It is of no surprise to me that Paul is now employed as the Lead Employment Specialist for the local Mental Health Trust as he has always displayed clear leadership qualities.
I have known Paul Dorrington since around 2010, in my capacity as Mental Health Commissioning Manager for an Inner London Local Government Authority when Paul was the Lead Mental Health Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist at the London NHS Mental Health Trust with whom the Authority had a contract. Paul displayed a professional and empathetic approach to clients, and demonstrated remarkable success helping people with severe and enduring mental health issues back to work, either by helping them by gaining new jobs after long periods of employment and mental illness or by helping them retain the jobs they had by providing job retention support working with corporate, private and public service organisations all over London. Paul displayed well developed interpersonal and networking skills, and consistently promoted mutual understanding and interagency communication. Paul’s leadership qualities supported effective partnership working and proved to be a key success factor in the delivery of the employment service. More recently, my knowledge of Paul’s professional work has been in his capacity as a Coach, as we are both members of a coaching network. Paul has a positive disposition and is generous in sharing his professional knowledge, skills and experience. He is keen to enable others to gain insight and to develop themselves, and his long-standing experience with severe and enduring mental health clients, adds value to his coaching practice. Paul has a good understanding of the importance of maintaining professional boundaries, is reliable and a pleasure to work with.