The ‘Get to Know’ series showcases staff from around the NHS Workforce Alliance to give you a glimpse of the variety of roles in our organisation, and the people who perform them.
This month, we’re pleased to introduce Alyson Brett, Managing Director of NHS Commercial Solutions, partner of the NHS Workforce Alliance. Find out more about Alyson’s background, role, and interests.
Q: What is your role within the NHS Workforce Alliance, and what does it involve?
I am the Managing Director at NHS Commercial Solutions and an Executive Director for the NHS Workforce Alliance. In my role as an Executive Director I am part of the senior team setting the strategic direction for the Alliance and ensuring delivery of benefits to the NHS from our approach. Each of the senior team acts as a sponsor for key workstreams and my role is to lead on the Procurement element of the Alliance supporting the development of strategy, planning and consideration of key activities to deliver best value, clinical quality and compliance.
Q Why are you passionate about this?
I think it must be that procurement and collaboration is in my DNA! Being part of the NHS to deliver value and benefit to patients and the healthcare system is the reason I joined the NHS 40 years ago. Since working on the early iterations of temporary staffing arrangements some years ago now, I have always found it so rewarding to see the benefits of applying our procurement expertise and seeing this contributing to front line services and patient care. As a team we have exciting plans for the future developing solutions for workforce issues across the NHS and Integrated Care Systems.
Q: What is the greatest challenge you face at work?
Competing priorities is a challenge we all face but that is what makes the NHS such a rewarding place to work in. To help my team I try to remain focused on the bigger picture when challenges occur. Although that can be difficult in these uncertain times I think about where we want to get to in the longer term and the best way to address this.
Q: What was your first job and how has this impacted you in your career?
Actually, my first role was a holiday job as a buyer’s assistant prior to university. This was in my hometown of Sunderland in the Supplies Department at the District General Hospital. I still remember the first call I was asked to make which was to order “oesophageal bougies”. Although I am sure this was a setup (!), this inspired me to join the NHS as a Graduate Trainee and develop a lifelong career in NHS Procurement.
Q: How would you spend a perfect day off?
My perfect day off would be walking by the sea on the beautiful Kent coast.