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 was on maternity leave for the majority of 2017 and also took a short career break.
I recently joined South Central & West Commissioning Support Unit and it's a really exciting time. I am supporting the development of Primary Care Digital Transformation and am also doing some work around people and professional development within informatics. I hope that some of this work will support emerging leaders (including the graduate trainees) going forwards!
I'm also a big advocate for flexible working and very interested in exploring how digital transformation and flexible working come together. As a fairly new Mum, flexible working has been paramount to my wellbeing and career progression.
I'm also working with a really fab team based in Oxford. There's lots to do and a few of us have started at the same time, but there is a lot of positive energy which is a great place to be in!
Do Not Assume!: I find this particularly applies to working with clinicians, and as an informatics professional - it can be so easy to assume a solution for them. It's so important to work collaboratively and use their expertise when developing solutions. 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. Never ever ever assume you know someone's job better than them. Sometimes it's very powerful to just observe rather than ask targeted and weighted questions.
Be yourself! If you're trying to be something you're not, then maybe the NHS isn't for you.....
Finally - one size doesn't fit all, and just because your ideas about what sort of roles you want to do don't fit the mould, it doesn't mean they are wrong. The graduate scheme is a great platform to explore different roles and 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.
2. 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 it was published in an online journal in 2018.
3. I struggled a lot with my identity and managing career progression with work/life balance once I had my daughter - as many parents do. I don't think I have all the answers yet, but through being open and honest about it I've helped to develop a great network around me and together some of us have supported a @FlexNHS platform. It's a really exciting opportunity to explore and promote cultural change through shared experience. I feel I've been able to turn a difficult and challenging time into a positive thing.
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