Aasha C.
Aasha C.
Transformation Project Lead
Specialism Health Informatics

About Aasha

Key Experiences

A little bit of everything!
I graduated from the University of Reading in 2008 with a degree in Economics (which wasn't really for me) and found myself working as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher for the Ambulance Service, taking 999 calls, assisting ambulance crews via a radio system and allocating them on calls. I became increasingly aware that the NHS could utilise technology so much more and I became drawn into the world of informatcs... I also recognised that although an accident, the NHS is where I really wanted to stay so I could help people and make a difference.

I went onto do a couple of clinical audit based roles as well as some work experience in an Information team before securing a place on the NHS Graduate Management Scheme - Informatics Stream. Since then (both on and off the scheme) I have undertaken a variety of informatics type roles in various settings including regional commissioning and the private sector (as part of a flexi placement). I have recently returned to work following maternity leave and joined the Transformation Team at the Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust which is my local acute.

Current Position

Transformation Project Lead
I am quite new into my current role but my responsibilities include tracking various projects and developing robust processes within the PMO. I work closely with a Programme Manager to support the Planned Care Group. I am still planning to very much keep my hand within informatics and there are great opportunities to embed that within transformation. I am really looking forward to getting stuck into the role and working closely with front line staff and patients again.

Main Motivations

Understanding services and providing support to meaningful projects
I've spent the last 3-4 years in commissioning so I am really enjoying getting to grips with the provider sector again by meeting wider colleagues and learning about the services provided. I think it is essential in any type of support services role to really embed yourself within that wider team so you can provide meaningful collaborative assistance. I hope my experience of commission will provide beneficial to understanding the bigger picture.

Top Advice

Use feedback, keep an open mind and never assume
My top advice would be to utilise feedback, keep an open mind to any situation to make your own decisions and never assume you know how to do someones job better than them!

Utiising Feedback: I had an unsucessful application to the scheme a couple of years ago but having reached interview stage I was able to get verbal feedback. It was really useful and I acted on it.

Keep An Open Mind: it can become easy to become cynical and accept things as they are. I try to make my own mind up about things and then I can make an informed decision using fair judgement. Although sometimes there will be presurrised situations, it's really important to not go jumping into things without the facts.

Do Not Assume!: I find this particularly applies to working with clinicians, and as an informatician - it can be so easy to assume a solution for them. It's so important to work collaboratively and use their expertise when developing soluions. Informatics led solutions without the right engagement will not work properly. You risk creating solutions for a problem which does not exist, resulting in cumbersome workarounds.

Lastly, don't stop giving up once you are on the scheme! It can be really tough at times but it's a fantastic platform and a great opportunity to develop a range of skills. It's important to recognise what you do and don't enjoy so you can make the most out of it and inform your career choices going forwards.

Greatest Achievement

Winning the UCL Health Informatics annual dissertation prize
I decided to complete my dissertation post scheme to gain my Masters award. I worked incredibly hard (and was pregnant for half of it!) on the project which looked at the digital expectations and experiences of university students. I was awarded the annual prize sponsored by Cerner and am currently working with my tutor to get the work published. It was a hugely rewarding experience and I hope it will add to the useful body of literature out there in a rapidly changing area.

NHS

Whatever your future leadership ambitions are, the NHS offers a fantastic start with a variety of challenging placements in an organisation that is wholeheartedly determined to provide equal opportunities to all employees. Selection for the scheme is based solely on aptitude and ability to ensure we have the best leaders for the NHS.

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