Get to Know Lucy Wright, Business Support Manager

Lucy Wright 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 Business Support Manager – Lucy Wright.

What is your background? 

Most of my working life has been within the NHS. The areas of work and experience have been varied across many business functions such as Workforce Planning & Intelligence, Learning & Organisational Development, Education & Training Programme Management for clinical and non-clinical staff. I love a good project and enjoy collaborating with others to develop new systems and processes.

Over the years, I have been based in NHS trust sites, working closely with patient facing staff so I understand the many pressures that the NHS is under. I have also worked for Health Education England and NHS England so I have broader, more strategic NHS knowledge and experience. Business management, systems development and project work are my greatest interests as I am passionate about continuous improvement and getting value for money.

Before joining the NHS, I held procurement roles both in the private and public sector, so having that knowledge and experience has really helped in my Alliance role as I am familiar with procurement processes and the business objectives.

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

I am the Business Support Manager for the Alliance. My role involves close working with all five Alliance partners to streamline processes, maintain the flow and sharing of information and to bring the Alliance together to make improvements and support the business functions. I oversee the internal business management, including the financial forecasting across the Alliance, managing the budget and spend, as well as having oversight of income generation.

I am also involved in various Alliance projects to support our strategic objectives and continuously develop our service and processes. I work closely with the Alliance Operations Director and in order to maintain good operational oversight across the Alliance I attend various meetings and events, supporting our category teams, communication teams, data teams and I also manage meeting outputs for the Executive and Management Boards.

Why are you passionate about this?

Having worked for the NHS for over 15 years, I am very passionate about the work we do and ultimately the patient care we deliver, given such challenging circumstances in the healthcare sector. Over the years I have seen the many staff frustrations with inefficient clunky systems, out of date ways of working and the constant staffing and recruitment issues for both clinical and non-clinical roles. I am proud to work for the NHS and I really enjoy working on projects to improve systems, communications and to develop better processes to ensure we are making good use of the funding and resources within the NHS.

Feeling like I have made a difference each day, no matter how small, is really important to me and this motivates me in my work. I also love a challenge and unpicking a problem to find solutions. 

What is the greatest challenge you face at work?

As in all NHS organisations, resources are one of the biggest challenges. Aside from that, the challenge of working closely as an Alliance from such distances, maintaining good working relationships and communication channels across the five partners can also be a challenge. Knowing that we all have the same goal of prioritising patient needs by building, developing, and improving our service together keeps us focussed and ensures we are all steering in the same direction.

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

My first role was in the procurement department of an engineering company. I enjoyed this role and learnt a lot about buying processes, working closely with suppliers to build good working relationships, general administration and the importance of managing stock levels. This then led me to another procurement role working for the Prison Service.

Both roles taught me a great deal about team working, using various office systems, working to tight deadlines and budgets, the importance of good communication, ensuring quality and also achieving good value for money.

Early on in my career I knew I enjoyed organising, planning, being involved in projects, procurement and finance processes, and I wanted to make a difference in my work which led me to the NHS.

How would you spend a perfect day off?

Well, a perfect ‘day’ for me (if time and money were no object) would be relaxing somewhere very hot, likely sitting on a quiet beach, sipping rum cocktails and listening to music or the sound of the sea. Nice food would also have to be involved of course!

For a more normal ‘day off’, it would likely involve catching up with friends or family, going for a nice meal and a few drinks, watching a film at the cinema or going to a gig.

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