Get to Know Helen Lynch, Director of Workforce and Category Development at NHS Commercial Solutions

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 Helen Lynch. Find out more about Helen’s background, role and interests.

Q: What is your background?

My background is in procurement; I have worked in various areas within the Public Sector such as universities, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Guide Dogs for the Blind and the Department of Health Commercial Directorate. 

Having entered the NHS in 2004, I have worked within several trusts in a procurement role – but Workforce seems to have followed me wherever I have gone! I previously worked for the NHS London Procurement Partnership leading their Workforce team for two years before moving into the role of Director of Strategic Partnerships whilst still dealing with the Workforce category. 

Q: What is your role within the NHS Workforce Alliance, and what does it involve?

I currently work for NHS Commercial Solutions as Director of Workforce and Category Development. We are the awarding authority for the International Recruitment framework, which we manage with input from our NHS Workforce Alliance colleagues. 

I am also a member of the Alliance management board and contribute across our entire offering. 

Q: Why are you passionate about this?

Having worked trust-side in both operational and strategic roles, I can really appreciate the services the NHS is providing in very difficult circumstances – not just with the Covid-19 pandemic but in delivering their normal day-to-day responsibilities.  Seeing how these clinical and administrative staff work, and the long hours they put in, I feel we need to use our Workforce market expertise to support them as much as possible. 

Q: What is the greatest challenge you face at work?

The changing landscape of the NHS is very difficult for us all – there are so many initiatives and it can be really confusing for our customers to keep up with them all. The Alliance’s collaborative relationships with government bodies means we can help influence policy and implementation for the benefit of our customers and ultimately, the patients we serve.

Q: What was your first job, and how has it impacted your career?

My first job was a ‘Saturday Girl’ at a hair dressers. This gave me some great experience in dealing with customers and the general public, which serves me well to this day!

Q: How would you spend a perfect day off?

Sleeping! No, not really. 

Cooking (but not cleaning), music, reading, walking my dogs and going to the theatre. Not all at the same time!

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