My first role post-graduation was as a Clinical Quality Improvement Assistant at Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust. A large component of a Psychology degree is the application of statistical methodology and I found the transferability of these skills hugely beneficial to clinical audit and data analysis. I worked closely with clinicians to help design and develop user-friendly data collection tools and collected data for national and local audits. I recognised the importance of having accurate and timely information to make informed decisions at all levels, be it to deliver prompt and appropriate care to very sick patients or to plan workforce capacity going into busy times of the year.
I applied for the Graduate Management Training Scheme to further develop my career in healthcare management. I chose the Informatics stream because I am particularly interested in how information can be utilised to plan and deliver high quality healthcare to all.
As a Business Intelligence Manager I use information to support the planning and delivery of standards. I go beyond the raw data analysis to ask questions such as "what is the data showing?" and "what does this mean for the patient, the commissioner and the provider?"
I love the variety my current placement offers. Some of the work is immediate and operational whereas other aspects consider longer-time plans. To demonstrate this point, here are two examples:
We are currently in the Winter season, a time where the healthcare system experiences heightened pressures; I am keeping track of how 5 Acute providers in my patch are performing on a daily basis. This intelligence is used to have discussions on best to respond to demand so that the impact on patients is kept to a minimum.
I am also working with colleagues on projects that are helping me get a wider perspective of how, what may appear to be discrete departments, influence and support each other. For example, how can a Contract incorporate objectives on improving quality of care delivered? In this instance, information becomes important to benchmark and review against agreed objectives.
The NHS is a values-driven organisation. You can learn technical analytical skills, become a skilled negotiator or an excellent communicator. But what are you trying to achieve and what is driving you? This scheme is as much about the NHS being right for you as it is you being right for the NHS.
In August 2010, I decided to learn how to drive with the aim of passing before my birthday in January. I failed my first driving test in October. I failed again in November. Lesson after lesson of getting frustrated over making the same mistakes, I started to wonder whether I was ever going to pass my driving test. I tried again, and passed on 14th December 2010.
This is a personal achievement but in a lot of ways, one I am most proud of. Every time I start stumbling or feeling I can't do something, this experience reminds me to keep going and try again.
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.Visit website