Having worked in the NHS for 34 years and seen and been through more changes than I can count on the digits of my hands and feet, along with colleagues and friends I have worked with over the years, I have decisions and choices to make about my career in the NHS. These are not easy times and the decisions to be made are tricky.
To be honest, I must admit to having done the ostrich thing for over a year now, on a cerebral level I knew the changes were happening around me but until recently they had not impacted on my work, my team or the important agenda I am working on. All that changed about eight weeks ago when the plans for the new NHS Leadership Academy were shared with me and colleagues in the leadership directorate of the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement. The reality of the situation I found myself in hit home and it hit home hard. There would be fewer mangers in the new organisation, we would be working in new ways and like everyone else in the NHS we would be expected to do more for less.
In addition to inwardly digesting these changes, as a senior leader I am expected and indeed want to support and advise junior members of my team who are also going through challenging and unsettling times and need me to continue to motivate and inspire them to deliver. We all know we must continue to deliver a high quality service for our constituents and ultimately patients. At this point I must pay homage to my team. An awesome and amazing group of people who despite everything remain incredibly positive and productive. Team BT can be relied on to deliver and deliver well.
So, back to the decisions I have to make and the life changing impact those decisions will have on me and my family. The questions I am asking myself are: what do I really want to do, what do I believe I can do, what do others believe I can and can’t do. Usually we ask ourselves these questions when on training and development programmes, when the answers are theoretical and abstract. The current situation dictates that these decisions have to be made quickly and will have impact. My belief is that the NHS is an exciting and stimulating place to work and I know it needs committed and dedicated people in it to develop and implement the new architecture. I have seen so many brilliant colleagues leave recently I wonder how the system will be able to cope without them, but I guess the point is that it will. The NHS is the sum of 1.4 million parts, an organisation that big can absorb the loss of a significant number of people before it is really felt.
Anyway, I know that whatever decision/choice I make, thankfully the NHS will simply continue to do what its always done, deliver high quality care for its patients.
Interesting days ahead… Watch this space.