I joined HSMC in 1995–1999 as a part-time Fellow, (1999-2007 then as an Associate) I undertook teaching, research and consultancy in HR and OD/Leadership in healthcare. I had been working as a Head of Organisational Development at the Oxford Radcliffe and had been wondering, having worked in the NHS in HR and OD for many years, where the evidence for change management was and how NHS theory and policy was developed. My curiosity and my realisation that working at Board level in the NHS wasn't where my talents were best placed took me to a part-time split post at HSMC, initially working also in tandem with the then Northern Birmingham Community NHS Trust, which I then swapped for a part-time role in the NHS Confederation working on national HR policy, the pay review body evidence and parliamentary select committee evidence. My work at HSMC not only enabled me to craft my research skills and enjoy a number of national research projects, it enabled me to teach on some of the masters programmes, including in Hong Kong (which was a great experience), as well as being involved in national policy implementation, evaluation and a range of leadership development programmes. I shared an office with a number of HSMC colleagues including Judith Smith, Jeanne Hardacre, Maria Dineen, Deborah Hennessy, and enjoyed the many connections that I made with a variety of old and new HSMC faculty members many of whom I either still work with, or am still in contact with and in particular Peter Spurgeon and Hugh Flanagan.
From 2000 I also undertook consultancy work on a variety of projects within healthcare organisations including large acute hospitals, ambulance trusts, Clinical Commissioning Groups, GP Practices, mental health hospitals and nationally for the Department of Health, NHS Confederation, Kings Fund, NHS Employers & Partners, Trinity College Dublin and The Royal College of Surgeons Dublin on organisational development and change, leadership and management development, board development, organisational qualitative research and programmes on values, culture and engagement, patient and public engagement in healthcare and peer leadership and multidisciplinary team effectiveness programmes. I now work with Healthskills Consultancy on patient, public, staff and GP practice engagement/peer leadership with Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) support towards authorisation and I work with Centre for Innovation in Health Management, Leeds University Business School as an Associate designing large and small scale leadership/management development programmes and OD projects in the NHS specialising in peer and systems leadership and developing communities of practice. I am currently writing up a PhD study on self care at work.
I have many memories of HSMC, including working in Park House in its amazing setting, with the grounds, the lake, easy parking and the beautiful building. It had a distinctive smell, and to this day this remains. Sue, Myra, Maureen, Mike, Anne, Jackie, Gary and others who worked at HSMC were always amazingly helpful, as were the many HSMC academic colleagues I worked with. Looking back it was fundamental to my career in terms of the experience and skills I got from HSMC of working in a university setting, cutting my teeth with researching, writing for publication, teaching on masters programmes and learning how to work with a diverse and unique group of colleagues most of us being forthright and outspoken with our views and very often agreeing to disagree sparking many lively debates and discussions on all matters of health and healthcare policy. We had a large network of clients, contacts and contracts in and around the NHS, nationally and locally and HSMC was very prolific during that time in policy and research and think tanks, etc.
After a number of years I have recently re-joined HSMC as an Associate, and am now looking forward to working with colleagues there again in the coming months.