I first came across HSMC as an NHS Graduate Management Trainee in September 2000, but my first experience was of a shabby hotel near to a very noisy road some way from the University of Birmingham! Fortunately, the week-long residentials at Park House as management trainees over the course of the next two years, gave me an appreciation of the quality of the work and insight offered by academics there.
I remember well being taught by Chris Ham, Andrew Wall, Kieran Walshe, Judith Smith, Nick Goodwin and many others, notably amoungst them Peter Spurgeon, who became my MSc dissertation supervisor in 2004 and who continues to advise me on my PhD, which I am currently undertaking combined with my role as Senior Lecturer in Health Care Management at De Montfort Unviersity.
Yes, seven years in the NHS as a trainee and then manager ended in 2007, when I returned to the academic environment - and I wouldn't be doing what I am now if it wasn't for my experience at HSMC and the inspiration I received from its many talented staff to make some sort of contribution to health care in this country and to the NHS.
To this day, I regularly extol its virtues to current students and staff where I work and I'm glad that I was able to be a small part of its impressive 40 year history.