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 Lucy Flint. Find out more about Lucy’s background, role, and interests.
Q: What is your role within the NHS Workforce Alliance, and what does it involve?
I am a Strategic Business Manager for Crown Commercial Service. My role within NHS Workforce Alliance is primarily about relationship management. It’s my job to work with customers to help ensure there is a proactive approach to their procurement needs, and help them access the support they need from the alliance.
I help ensure the NHS Workforce Alliance better understands the customer’s perspective, and I work with customers to save them time and help them identify efficiencies, ensuring UK citizens benefit from improved experiences, service innovations and the impact of public spending reductions is minimised.
Q Why are you passionate about this?
The alliance has a strong history of working with the NHS, and we are helping ensure our customers have easy and quick access to sustainable workforce solutions. The strength of the alliance partners is a huge asset to the NHS workforce and associated procurement.
I have personally supported the NHS with designing efficient workforce solutions for over 14 years. People are at the heart of the services provided, so ensuring solutions that are robust and strong means the NHS can perform to the highest standards, remains agile and is here for us when we need it. I am proud to say in some small way I am supporting that for my family and everyone across the UK.
The alliance continually listens to its customers and develops frameworks in tune with the requests and advice we receive from them. The only way we can get this insight is through listening and learning.
Q: What is the greatest challenge you face at work?
Covid has been such a huge disrupter, not only to our day-to-day lives but also changing the world of work on so many levels. The challenge we have now is to create the best level of understanding on how this has – and will – affect our customers. There is often little ability for customers to articulate the changes themselves, as they just don’t know what the future will look like. The past is not now an indicator of what the future holds, so looking at historic patterns is not always going to be the right data to base future planning on.
As we all navigate this new and ever changing landscape, the challenge for me is to have the right conversations to be able to effectively support and guide customers on the right future decisions, with as much agility as possible. Being visible and always there for our customers, helping them access as much intelligence and information as we can is vital. We need our customers to keep talking to us and involve us in order to do this.
Q: What was your first job and how has this impacted you in your career?
My first full time role was during a university gap year, when as part of my degree I had to undertake an industry placement. After what must have been hundreds of applications and letters out to potential employers I was accepted into the HR department for Comet, known as Colleague Services. The determination I had in securing the role stood me in good stead, as the role was certainly a challenging one!
I dealt with inbound calls from colleagues across the stores, warehouses and head office with every possible HR query from pay and maternity to disciplinary and grievances. The emotive nature of some of the calls meant that I quickly had to learn to deal with very challenging situations and negotiate with people to understand their situations and options better. Choosing the right words and learning to explain the same thing in different ways to help people with varying views and opinions was a very good skill to learn early on in my working life.
This first job has led me down a path where I have spent many years working in HR and recruitment. I have often said that we deal in the world’s most unreliable commodity – people. However, the flip side to that is it is also a very rewarding and purposeful role to know that you have added value to someone’s life. I’m not a doctor or a nurse or in a profession where I can save people, but as human beings we all spend so much of our lives at work, so if I can make changes and take actions that positively impact people’s working lives then I feel I am purposeful.
Q: Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?
I suffer with imposter syndrome which is when you believe that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. Most people who meet me will see someone who appears to be confident and outgoing. I am considered an expert by many colleagues, past and present, so why do I suffer with this? It is actually a very common phenomenon and I’m learning to harness the positives. Normally imposter syndrome can create feelings such as fear, stress, anxiety and insecurity, however, by harnessing the outputs that this brings such as curiosity, self-awareness, learning and asking questions, I focus on making this a productive part of me and grow more as a result.