Related products
  • Read&Write




 

“I was the classic undiagnosed dyslexic. After leaving school with poor GCSE grades, I got stuck in a dead-end retail job: but I knew this wasn’t what I really wanted, and I was capable of much more.” -

Chris McPheat 

Read&Write boosts NHS researcher’s work and home life


Success with Read&Write

Chris McPheat is a Research Nurse in the GI (Gastrointestinal) & Lymphoma Unit at The Royal Marsden Foundation Trust. Based in Chelsea, West London, it’s the world's first hospital dedicated to cancer diagnosis, treatment and research.

Working in close partnership with The Institute of Cancer Research, The Royal Marsden conducts extensive clinical trials to develop scientific findings into new therapies. Chris helps recruit outpatients to take part in trials. And as well as making sure every trial is conducted ethically, it’s his responsibility to oversee every aspect of care during the course of treatment, plus follow-up that may take several years.

“We’re looking after patients holistically” notes Chris: “As well as making sure their day-to-day care needs are met, we’re keeping an eye over other aspects of their lives – for example to give them support if they’re facing financial difficulties.”

Overcoming childhood struggles with dyslexia

Reading, writing and a wide range of literacy tasks are naturally integral to Chris’ day-to-day work. But his own successful career in the NHS came after early academic struggles:

“I was the classic undiagnosed dyslexic. After leaving school with poor GCSE grades, I got stuck in a dead-end retail job: but I knew this wasn’t what I really wanted, and I was capable of much more.” In 2008, Chris went back to college, re-taking English and gaining an A Grade that qualified him to join a Nursing Diploma course at London’s South Bank University.

“South Bank was fantastic – they diagnosed my dyslexia and immediately gave me the support I needed, including my first encounter with Assistive Technology”. Completing his diploma served as the next stepping stone for Chris to take a BSc degree in Adult Nursing, where he graduated with First Class honours.

Read&Write simplifies day-to-day literacy tasks

Newly qualified, Chris took his first job as a research nurse at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London, where he encountered Read&Write.

“I’d used other software packages to help with my dyslexia, but Read&Write is just so much better. A big feature I love is the screen masking function that takes away the harsh ‘glare’ of a white computer screen. It makes it so much easier and less tiring to read the characters.

“I write a lot of emails, and also use office applications like Excel. I use Read&Write to hear reports and documents read out loud – it really helps me with hard-to-pronounce words.”

Read&Write’s speech feature helps Chris proof his own documents, using the spell-checker that’s so much more comprehensive and friendly than other programmes’ default applications. “It’s even more useful to me with the advanced medical dictionary and spell-checker that now contains loads of specialist terms.”


Easier reading and writing – at work and at home

The software’s Speech Maker feature turns documents into MP3 audio files that Chris can listen to while he’s on the move: “I have to read a lot of research guides, reports and papers. It’s often hard to find the time, and the ability to listen while away from my PC is a huge productivity benefit.”

Chris also uses Read&Write at home for doing academic assignments, as well as catching up on general emails and correspondence.

“Read&Write has made a real difference to my life. It makes me more autonomous while I’m at work and while studying at home – I’m now looking forward to using it while studying for my Masters degree.”

If you would like further information about Read&Write, please contact us.