Helen Parker (2005-2009)

Helen Parker (2005-2009)I joined HSMC in July 2005 until December 2009 when I left to work with GPs developing a new organisational model for general practice.

During my time at HSMC we were engaged in a number of very stimulating teaching, research and consultancy projects contributing to the development and implementation of health policy and health service management. A significant project that took a lot of my time and energy but was extremely rewarding and enjoyable, was commissioned by the West Midlands SHA who launched a pilot leadership programme for their Aspiring Chief Executives and Aspiring Directors, which is still continuing into its fifth year.

This modular programme became a blueprint for similar programmes in other SHA regions and during that time we were able to draw on the expertise of many national leaders, combined with our academic rigour in policy analysis. The programme built up a significant cadre of almost 1000 local leaders, many of whom went on to more senior roles in local organisationa including Dr Mark Newbold, now CEO of the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust and a participant in our very first cohort. I still meet participants who, despite the recent organisational upheavals, are managing to maintain the valuable professional networks they made at that time.