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NHS75 staff stories

The NHS employs staff from all over the world and 350 different careers. As well as this, volunteers of all ages and backgrounds make a huge and often unseen contribution to the NHS. We want to showcase our colleagues who make the NHS what it is. Below are staff stories from some of our NCL ICB colleagues.

 

Angela O’Shea – NCL ICB Harm Free Care Lead and Joint Vice-Chair of the NCL ICB BAME Staff Network

Photo of Angela O’Shea, who is the Harm Free Care Lead at NCL ICB and the Joint Vice-Chair of the NCL ICB BAME Staff Network

When did you start in the NHS?

I started in the NHS in January 1991 when I commenced my student nurse training.

Why did you choose to work in the NHS?

My mother trained as a nurse and I come from a large family (I have five siblings!) I have always cared for people throughout my life, so it felt like a natural progression for me to enter the nursing profession.

Describe what you do in 100 words.

I am the Harm Free Care Lead for NCL ICB, support the Health Inequalities, Inclusion Health agenda and I’m also Joint Vice-Chair of the BAME Staff Network where I have established the Diversity and Inclusion Book, Film and Music Club and other equality, diversity and inclusion activities – Black History 365 events etc

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Throughout my NHS career I feel proud that I have been able to make a difference and help improve the quality of patient care both as a nurse and in my current role. I particularly enjoy contributing to the current equality, diversity and inclusion activities (EDI) and have received feedback on the fantastic work that has been achieved regarding the Diversity and Inclusion Book, Film and Music Club where discussions about EDI can be held in a safe space. All other staff networks have been involved to cover protected groups and intersectionality.

How would you describe the NHS in one word?

Fantastic.

 

Dr Jo Sauvage, NCL ICB Chief Medical Officer

Photo of Dr Jo Sauvage, NCL ICB's Chief Medical Officer

When did you start in the NHS?

Started working in the NHS in 1988 on my pre-registration house job. However, I worked as a student in the hospitals and GP surgeries of NCL since 1985.

Why did you choose to work in the NHS? 

I chose to work in the NHS as I really wanted to be a Dr from my teenage years. My primary carer died when I was very young and in a strange way, I wanted to vanquish illness. From my O level in history, I also realise I was most passionate about social reform and this has been important in my journey as an advocate for social justice. This is recognised once again as important, just as it was 75 years ago when the NHS was established.

Describe what you do in 100 words. 

I am ‘a local girl’; I went to school in Highgate, trained at UCLH, worked in most of the Trusts in North Central London and been a school Dr in Islington during the 1990’s, visiting all the schools. I am now a GP by trade and have worked in Old Street since 1999, watching it become the trendy place it is now. I am very proud to be the Chief Medical Officer in an area of London, I am strongly connected to. I love what I do and I love to be connected to the people of North Central London.

What do you enjoy most about your role? 

I enjoy working in a place I feel part of. I am fortunate to be surrounded by colleagues committed to doing their best for residents and are passionate about the importance of the National Health Service. I enjoy the kinship of working with people who want to contribute to society through what they do, daily. I enjoy the purpose, the challenges, the finding of solutions, the daily giving through compassionate conversations, the ‘being there’ for people who feel disenfranchised and lonely. This has been a large part of my life; in this place, doing this job. I have tried to add value up until now and there is always more to do.

How would you describe the NHS in one word? 

Precious

 

Stacey Kennedy – NCL ICB Head of Transformation & Efficiency – Complex Individualised Commissioning and Chair of the NCL ICB BAME Staff Network

Photo of Stacey Kennedy, NCL ICB's Head of Transformation and Efficiency within Complex Individualised Commissioning and the Chair of the NCL ICB BAME Staff Network

When did you start in the NHS?

I started in the NHS in September 2003 where I supported the Director of Estates and Facilities for Ealing PCT.

Why did you choose to work in the NHS?

I like to say that the NHS choose me. I was directing my studies to a career in marketing and public relations – and worked in that field for a bit –  but then the opportunity came in the NHS and, since then, I have never left health.

Describe what you do in 100 words.

I am the Head of Transformation and Efficiency for Continuing Healthcare and Complex Individualised Care (CYP/MH/LD) where I plan, monitor and report the delivery of our programme – namely Cost Improvement Programme and Transformation. I also focus on supporting project managers develop and deliver viable outcomes which benefits our service-users, organisation and system.

I am also the Chair of our NCL ICB BAME Staff Network with a membership of 40. Our aim is to create an inclusive culture in NCL ICB where staff from BAME backgrounds feel supported, valued, respected and listened to with no fear of discrimination or prejudice and a belief that career opportunities or experience of work are not predetermined by ethnicity, nationality or colour.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Delivering a programme is ever changing and there is variety in my role with continuous learning. My colleagues, who I have created a strong bond with, are always there to provide their expertise in delivering initiatives that truly make a difference to our most vulnerable population. I feel proud to be a part of this.

Our BAME Staff Network has grown and the camaraderie and support we have built is invaluable – including having a secure Safe Space. Under the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Agenda we work together with our other Staff Networks, and we ensure that our activities creates awareness of our protected groups and intersectionality.

How would you describe the NHS in one word?

Dynamic.

 

Yvonne Conway – NCL ICB Designated Nurse for Looked After Children (Barnet and Islington)

Photo of Yvonne Conway, NCL ICB's Designated Nurse for Looked After Children within Barnet and Islington

When did you start in the NHS?

I started in the NHS 1991 as a student nurse at Barnet School of Nursing. I was the first of a new cohort of students completing a new programme of nurse training called Project 2000. We studied Middlesex University and later at Hertfordshire University. My practice was at Barnet general Hospital, Edgware General Hospital, The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and in the Barnet Community services and Voluntary services across Barnet and north London.

Why did you choose to work in the NHS?

I fell into it really. I went to college to complete my A Levels and a prevocational course for those wanting to go into nursing, social care and teaching. My chosen path was education, but I lost my motivation at that stage and did not meet the levels required for the university course I had chosen. Friends were going into nursing, so I applied. It enabled me to study my A Level subjects again but at Diploma level and pass with great grades. I fell in love with my community nursing placements and found a whole new career path, which has enabled me to still fulfil original wish to educate too.

Describe what you do in 100 words

I have the privilege to support and advocate for the most vulnerable group in our society; Looked after children and care experienced (LAC CE). I utilise my years of knowledge and experience as a LAC nurse to highlight and bring awareness of the inequalities they face and tackle these both at borough and system level, ensuring quality and safeguarding. My ambition is to take the LAC principle of ‘good enough for my child’ to the next level, by supporting LAC and CE (NCL & nationally) to be protected characteristics and for Corporate Parenting to be lifelong support of our CE.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Working with multi agency colleagues who also have a passion for this group of children and young people. My role through partnership work with Corporate Parenting Boards enables me to maintain a strong level of connection to looked after children and care experienced to ensure I am advocating the right messages.

How would you describe the NHS in one word?

Hope