Debbi W.
NHS Graduate Management Trainee - Finance
Specialism Finance Management

About Debbi

Key Experiences

From qualified physiotherapist to a trainee accountant in the NHS :-)
Having qualified as a physiotherapist in 2009 I knew that it wasn't the right path for me. I took the job as a senior carer in a home care agency I worked for which gave me a fantastic opportunity to manage a team of 23 carers at just 21 and enabled me to develop a huge range of skills.

From here I decided I wanted to do something bigger and better and so returned to J.D Wetherspoon where I quickly worked my way up to Deputy Manager whilst I decided on my next move.

The NHS graduate scheme caught my attention straight away and after being unlucky the first year, I used the extra year to gain additional experiences and re-applied this time becoming successful. I chose the finance stream after developing an interest in the finance side of business through my management exposure having declared I would "never be an accountant." I joined the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme in September 2012.

Current Position

Trainee finance manager in the challenging NHS transition.
As an NHS Finance Management Trainee, I feel like the world is my oyster. If training to be a CIMA qualified accountant and completing a PGCert in Leadership and Service Improvement wasn't enough, I also work full time in a busy NHS accounts office.

Currently on my first placement in Financial Accounts, my daily tasks are very varied depending on which team my rotation places me with and indeed what time of the month/ year is it. From chasing invoices, the paying invoices, counting cash and processing travel expense- one things for two days are the same.

Tasked with achieving set competencies, the experience is what you make it and so I have used contacts built whilst on my Trust induction to give me further insight into the development of the Trust I work at. Currently working on a key project to develop our Radiology services, I think this patient focussed element to my work is essential to remind me the importance of putting patients at the centre of every decision I make.

Main Motivations

No two days are the same- the opportunities are endless!
In a busy environment where everyone is under pressure to meet targets and deadlines, I feel really empowered to contribute and make a difference. Every day is different and I feel like I learn something new every step of the way. I really enjoy meeting all the different people both at the Trust and in the wider NHS community which contribute in providing such an incredible service.

Being from a clinical background, I have really enjoyed seeing the "other side" of the NHS and how hard people work behind the scenes as well as in the patient facing positions to keep it ticking over.

Top Advice

Do your research and believe you can do it!
The selection process for the scheme is tough but its the early stages where the competition is at it's fiercest. Make sure you do your research and come to your interview prepared to justify why you are there. Don't undersell yourself.

With the current reforms in the NHS it's important to understand what you are applying for. Utilise the variety of resources out there- speak to as many people as you can- don't just rely on the Internet.

If you are applying for the Finance scheme, be prepared to work hard. The job is very rewarding but juggling that with your accountancy studies and getting the right balance is tough but with the right drive and ambition to succeed the sky is the limit.

Greatest Achievement

A place on a board meeting agenda within 3 months!
Being a Finance trainee you may expect to be sat in an office all day or maybe popping out to attend meetings............I never expected to be speaking at a boardroom meeting within 3 months of starting.

Having completed a project to review patient experience of Discharge at my Trust, I was given a place on the agenda of the Discharge Advisory Board meeting. It was such a great feeling to be able to present my report to them and for it to be so well received I felt like I was really making a difference. It also achieved me a really good mark in one of my PGCert assignments.


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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