I’m Kath Chapman, a Specialist Financial Analyst working in the Leeds Costing Team. Having recently celebrated my 20th anniversary of working in the NHS, I thought I’d try my hand at blogging that all the youngsters seem to do, and put down a few of my old and crusty reflections.
I began life as an Assistant Finance Accountant for the Leeds Dental Institute, sharing what was essentially a ‘broom cupboard’ with a fellow Financial Accountant, years before J K Rowling came up with the idea. Shortly afterwards, I got my first of many tastes of the ‘re-organisation bug’ that the NHS so dearly loves, and was transferred to work as part of a larger team in upgraded accommodation that was quite literally a large ‘shed’ (it was actually called that) situated in a courtyard within the trust’s Victorian-era Gilbert Scott Building. It was however, surprisingly pleasant to work in, and where I began to grow the beginnings of my NHS family of friends.
Another Finance rejig saw the Finance Team centralised and moved across to the dark side - SJUH Trust HQ. In a new role, I joined seven other Finance Analysts in our Core Accounting team. We were a diverse bunch, with roots spread as far afield as Pakistan, Ghana, Thailand, New Zealand, ‘Cas Vegas’…and two from sunny Leeds. We all got on well and the office 'Come Dine with Me' nights out at each other’s houses were fantastic.
I joined the Costing team in 2011 when Patient Level Costing was in its infancy, and received a lot of patience and friendship from the then Costing team members. The team has now almost doubled in size, with each fresh face bringing with them new ideas, personality and infectious enthusiasm for things like ‘Love Island’ and ‘Tinder’. We are a team of varying ages and backgrounds, basically all a little bit 'different' (odd), but that’s what makes it work. Each one of us feels valued and encouraged to ‘play a part’; we all build on each other’s ideas to create something that is better than the sum of our individual thoughts. Together, we have created some brilliant financial tools to help our services improve patient pathways and reduce waste.
With an exciting new hospital build on the horizon, and the uplifting Leeds Way culture I know that there is no end of excitement and challenges awaiting me. At the risk of being cringey, even after 20 years, I love coming to work and making a difference.
Before I end, I thought I’d share what my kids said when I told them I was writing a blog about my 20 NHS Years:
Son No.1: 'It’s a shame you can’t share the same dedication to your kids'
Daughter: '@BorisJohnson this is why we need to privatise the NHS!'
Well you can't get it right all of the time. Here’s to the next decade!