Waiting For The Snow To Settle: My Life In The NHS

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Category: Studying CIMA
Owen Watson's picture

Life is hectic right now...

Feels like it was only yesterday I was writing my last blog, and now here I am reflecting on my last week in the Health Service (with England beating South Africa in the cricket unfolding in the background...sorry Jarred!)

So what did I get up to this week?

Well apart from getting paid (and financially mismanaging over half my pay cheque, whoops) I've been to Charlie Bear, Portering, & Security, Emergency Care, Sunderland Eye Infirmary, attended an Annual General Meeting (AGM), visited a community project that works to help obese children, and spent a day marching around the hospital with Domestics...

I was actually trying to keep up with Sue and Marie, but the less said about that the better!

Once again there are just too many things to tell you about, so I guess I better pick one thing...

For me, the major lesson of the week has been: Never be complacent.

It's a lesson that's especially relevant in the health care profession, you can say you manage your hospital as well as you like, achieve Foundation status, and meet...even exceed your government targets.

There's always more to do.

Even in a hospital where everything works...I went to the Eye Infirmary in Sunderland (it's just around the corner from my house too!) and it has the feel of a Cottage Hospital.

It's quite small...but they make lots of money, have great communication between the various departments, and think strategically about how to manage patient care. My kind of place.

But even here they would like to do more, they want to invest to meet the growing demand for services...but the money isn't forthcoming. It's frustrating but these are the challenges that we face as finance professionals...

What can we do to release the funds to support a world class directorate within our trust?

I imagine it's the same challenge that managers in the private sector you invest in a cash cow and try and get even more cash in the future, or do you take your surplus from here and plough it into other areas in your business?

I look forward to the day where I'm part of the team actually weighing and evaluating those options.

Here's hoping it's a quick journey!

Kitted out?

You've been busy alright! Is that the hospital scrubs you're sporting in your new profile picture?

Unfortunately not...

Nope...just a photo taken in one of the few chances I've had to catch up with my amigos recently. I've been in scrubs a few times though, feel like a bit of an idiot (and patients always think I'm a nurse!) but has to be done...wouldn't mind getting a photo but not sure it's professional to be asking a nurse to take a photo of me =)