NHS Leadership Academy – Health Informatics Management

The NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme is a comprehensive programme that aims to equip graduates with the expertise needed to become successful leaders in the NHS. We take a look at some of the kind of career you can expect when joining the NHS Leadership Academy.

Fern Gibson – Health Informatics Management

I know it sounds a real cliché, but I joined the NHS because I liked the idea of helping people and saving lives. Although all the placements I’ve done have been totally different, what they all have in common is the genuine commitment of everyone I’ve worked with and the way the environment is constantly changing.

Nottinghamshire is a very interesting place to work because of the mix of patients. Some areas have high levels of deprivation and that makes planning healthcare services so they are equal and accessible to everyone much more challenging.

At NHS Nottinghamshire County, I project managed a new system for Pseudonymisation across three PCTs. Pseudonymisation means using anonymous data for secondary uses [such as finance or analysis] by using pseudonyms to protect the patient’s identity. This was a huge project given the amount of data involved.

As a Project Manager, there’s always something unexpected cropping up, which means there’s no such thing as a typical day! However, I’ll normally get in around 8 to 8.30am, check my emails and grab a coffee before the office gets too busy. Then the rest of my day could involve anything from meeting GPs and clinicians or planning an implementation to carrying out project work or updating documentation. I’ll always try to finish by 5.30pm so I can catch up on my university work – maybe doing some research or writing an assignment.

On top of studying for my MSc in Health Informatics, I’ve taken part in a wide range of management training courses. So as well as broadening my knowledge of the wider issues relating to health informatics, I’ve been able to develop my leadership skills. The on-the-job training has been great for my professional development too, because of all the different people I’ve encountered.

My greatest achievement so far? Finishing a project for my flexi placement organisation to the brief and on time. And getting great feedback from them!

I’d love to continue my career in the NHS and my ambition is to be a Director of Informatics or CIO for an NHS Trust. If you’re thinking of a management career in Healthcare you should definitely apply and seize the opportunities offered to you on your placements. You only get out as much as you put in, so if you really challenge yourself, it can be a great experience.

For more information about the NHS Leadership Academy take a look at their website.