My name is Steve R and I currently work as a commissioning manager in the Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire PTC cluster in southwest England.
It’s a program management role working with a lot of different projects across a broad range of health areas, whether its emergency care, whether it’s planned care, or indeed mental health or primary care in GP settings.
I started in lab work, I just happened to get a job at my local NHS trust in my gap year before university and it was a means of getting some work before going on to study and I turned my hand to that I had a bit of a scientific background through A levels but again I did sciences and English and Latin before university. I actually moved to Bristol where I currently live to study classics at the University of Bristol, I delved around in Greek and Latin for a few years, mostly because I enjoyed the subject and I thought okay, I’d like an undergraduate degree. It turned out to be an arts degree because I found a subject I really liked. But obviously it hasn’t necessarily been a straightforward path into the NHS form the classics degree. I went back into lab work after I finished my arts degree to really support myself in Bristol as I feel it’s a fantastic city to live in and I felt the NHS had been a place where it had supported me before university and it was able to support me afterwards. I’ve always had a niggling in the back of my mind, okay I’ve done a bachelors degree I’d like to do a masters, at the time I was doing lab work in Bristol and I just happened to see one day the NHS management training scheme advertised which of course offers post graduate qualifications and fantastic opportunities to progress a career. Compared to an undergraduate degree, the training scheme was a step up in terms of difficulty and challenge but it was so rewarding. I was presented with the NHS graduate training of the year award after a training scheme which I finished in 2010 I went to university without a plan. I know some people have vocational qualifications, you want to do medicine, you want to become a vet. I went to university because it was an expectation growing up, along with peers everyone went to university. So I thought, I’m going to university , I’m going to study what I enjoy and it was really only after the three years of undergraduate qualification that I thought right, now what happens with the career, the big C, it’s a big word really.
My mother worked in the NHS, she’s an infant feeding support councillor at the local hospital trust in south east London. My father isn’t in the NHS, he’s recently retired but he worked in the British Museum in central London and I have a number of other family members both in this country and abroad who have done nursing or social care, it’s definitely a vein running through the family I’d say.
I was fortunate enough to go to a school that allowed you to choose whatever subjects you wanted to study without being forced okay, you have to become a scientist, or you have to become an art student, and that way fits with my personality, I’ve said I like to study a broad range of subjects and I never like to constrict myself, so I was very lucky through my schooling to turn my hand to a number of different subjects and also to try my hand both extracurricularly, in a sporting context or in a drama context or getting involved in other parts of school life, which seems a very long time ago now. I enjoyed it, I’ve always been one of these people who enjoys learning, who enjoys finding out new things, I’m never one to sit down and watch Eastenders or Coronation street, I’m always one, it sounds a bit square, to be watching the documentaries.