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Finding a place

I have recommended working here to many friends and definitely would in future, because this is the organisation that most resembles my personal values. I love the progressive, left-leaning nature of the business, I love its openness, I love the fact that it’s forward thinking and it moves quickly and just the whole ethos behind it.   It’s something that I’m proud of and I talk to friends about. A friend actually recommended me to work here three years ago. I had just moved to Brighton and I remember feeling positive that the organisation had taken a chance on me, because although I had lots of work experience at managerial level, this was the first time I’d done an administrative role (as a Patient Care Advisor in the Wellbeing service). I did my degree in Psychology and Philosophy though and so I feel my role in Wellbeing drew well on this. I remember hoping that I fit in well with the team and thinking just how welcoming everybody was – they were really nice. I also remember how professional the training was – it was well structured, intensive and personal.

My career journey

From this temporary role, I progressed to Assistant Integrated Care Manager in the Croydon Referral Service, putting my existing managerial experience to use. I’d left my previous job to return to university and complete my degree, which was something that was important to me. So, this was an opportunity to continue on my career and I was really happy with my new role, which I did for roughly two years. During this time I also got asked to oversee the Referral Management Service for Brighton and Hove and this was a very busy time as the organisation was starting to move towards being self-managed. A vacancy in EPiC (Extended Primary Integrated Care) then arose and I became an Extended Hours Service Manager. Next, I moved across to the Primary Care Collaboration until January, when I began working with others on the Proactive Care project as an account manager. Currently, I am stepping in to a colleague’s role as Primary Care Development Manager whilst she works on a new project (Diabetes Care For You). So, my journey has really been fantastic and the opportunities I’ve been given I am incredibly grateful for – they are tapping in to all the skills that I have brought with me from previous jobs: team-working skills; interviewing and recruitment; communications; and report-writing. I’ve experienced a fast journey over the last three years and I feel really lucky to have had such an all-round involvement in the services. This helps me to have an understanding of my colleagues’ situation and it makes working here just that much easier.

The heart of what we do

In terms of the organisation growing and changing, the last 18 months have been most significant for me. I’ve seen a real shift towards a teal management approach and we have really put our values at the forefront of what we do. When I joined, people told me that the values were important but I didn’t hear them as much as I hear them now. I’ve been part of the creative process we’ve gone through to get to the heart of who we are as an organisation. So, I’ve really seen what motivates us as a collaborative brain. I’ve seen patients at the heart of what we do and that’s not just a saying – it’s taking shape.

Bringing our whole selves to work

I’ll give you a really simple example – I like the idea of bringing my dog in to work. I love dogs, anybody will tell you that. I kept asking people if I could bring my dogs in and was scared the answer would be no. Then my colleague Paul said to me, if you’ve asked the people around you – why don’t you make your own call based on what they’ve said? So, I trialled it by bringing my dog in for a few hours one afternoon and it was fine. That to me is a great example of being able to be your whole self. I’ve got a really obvious personality and here that hasn’t held me back at all. I always feel like my skills can be best shown through me rather than through a performance of me. You’re given ‘permission’ by everyone who works here – the culture is open – you can see it and feel it. A real breakthrough for me personally was getting to know Zoe (the Chief Exec) and seeing her bring her whole self to work – and this made me realise that if someone as successful as her can be herself, then surely I can too.

The Uniqueness of Here

The unique thing about Here is the sheer sense of camaraderie; and the true care behind that. I do believe that we show Care Unbound and I have a hundred examples of things that I see all the time. Our caring culture is based on a sense of community, mindfulness and promoting wellness. For example, we have a room with grass in it (the ‘Meadow’) where we have mindfulness sessions every day. We also have a wellness group who act as a mechanism for joint decision-making when it comes to promoting and facilitating wellness throughout the organisation and beyond.

I can’t believe how lucky we are that we work for an organisation that sees visions and values and other purpose-based immersion sessions as a valuable use of time. I’ve never experienced that anywhere else. How can we do the right thing if we haven’t all sat down together and really thought about what that right thing might be? It’s such a natural starting point and I’m surprised that more places don’t do it. It helps me to believe my work – I always want to do my best and work hard for the patient.

tagged in Primary Care Collaboration, why we like it Here, working with us

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