Get to Know Jessica Emmett, NHS Workforce Alliance Engagement Manager for the South West

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 our new NHS Workforce Alliance Engagement Manager for the South West – Jessica Emmett.

Jessica Emmett NHS Workforce Alliance Engagement Manager

What is your background?  

My overall career history has been quite varied – from retail, to teaching, even being a qualified financial adviser. However my NHS career began in 2018 when I joined NHS Professionals, where I led the operational delivery of managed bank services across multiple staff groups and trusts in Devon.

In 2021 I moved into a national role managing the bank provision for NHS Blood and Transplant across England. Most recently I was the strategic NHSP lead for the South East Temporary Staffing programme, offering insight and analysis on bank and agency performance, as well as supporting the design and implementation of workforce solutions, for the NHSP-contracted trusts in the programme.

I’m delighted to be joining the NHS Workforce Alliance, and hope that both my on-the-ground operational experience in NHS staffing, as well as my time spent in strategic regional workforce planning, will help me support trusts across the South West, a beautiful part of the world I’m lucky enough to call home.

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

My role is NHS Workforce Alliance Engagement Manager for the South West. A key part will be building relationships with trusts, CICs and ICBs across the region, as well as working closely with the South West Temporary Staffing Regional Collaborative and NHS England’s regional leads.

I will be on hand to advise, support and collaborate with trusts to help implement and deliver workforce strategies, plans and programmes, working together to ensure the staffing needs of the NHS are met in the most compliant and cost-effective way possible.

Why are you passionate about this? 

I am incredibly proud to work for the NHS, and I feel the role the NHS Workforce Alliance plays is extremely valuable. I am so pleased to be part of an organisation that is passionate about helping the NHS run safely, sustainably, and as cost-effectively as possible, whilst being part of the NHS itself and delivering savings straight back into the NHS.

I find it really rewarding to support trusts, CICs and other NHS organisations with their workforce needs, finding solutions to challenges and identifying opportunities for improvement. I enjoy the collaborative partnership working that can lead to safe and successful staffing performance but also better value for the NHS and the taxpayer. I am even more delighted that I will be doing this work across the South West, on my “home patch” as it were, which makes it all the more meaningful personally.

What is the greatest challenge you face at work? 

Anyone currently in the world of NHS workforce will be very familiar with the national targets from NHS England and the Temporary Staffing Efficiency Programme, myself included! Therefore one of the biggest priorities – but also greatest challenges – will be the upcoming deadlines for off-framework removal and thereafter price cap compliance, and I appreciate that trusts are under a lot of pressure to meet those at the moment.

The South West is such a widespread region geographically – spanning from rugged and remote Cornwall stretching to areas like Bath and Swindon that rub shoulders with the South East – which means it won’t all be “one size fits all”. I can appreciate each individual trust is likely to have unique challenges and varying pressure points. Therefore, whilst we’re all aiming for the same overall results, it is likely that different strategies and approaches will be needed in different locations, which I look forward to supporting with.

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

My first ever job was working in the laundry of a fancy dress shop! It was a Saturday job that offered me a bit of extra pocket money as a teenager. I’m not sure it has impacted my career all that much, but it certainly instilled a loathing of ironing in me from quite a young age, which hasn’t dimmed over time!

How would you spend a perfect day off?

I really do feel lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world, so a perfect day off always features the things on my doorstep. Whether that’s delicious food at a waterfront restaurant enjoying the sea views, a swim or paddleboard at a nearby beach, or a walk across Dartmoor or the South West coastal path… There are so many options to choose! I also really enjoy reading, cooking, playing the piano, musical theatre and history.

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