Inspiring People: Beth Rhodes #NHS70
On 5th July 2018, the NHS turned 70. At Real Public Sector, we’re proud to have worked with so many skilled people who’ve played a part in making the institution what it is today.
To celebrate the 70th birthday, we spoke with some of the inspiring people we’ve partnered with over the years to discover how the work they do with the NHS every day offers them real purpose.
Beth Rhodes is a Public Sector Project Manager who works with the NHS on a contract basis. She joined Real Public Sector two years ago, and has worked across various sectors of the NHS. This is her story, in her own words…
How I became involved in the NHS
I can’t put my finger on exactly why I decided to go into the NHS. I just remember always feeling that it was the right place for me from a young age. I started out studying Psychology, but that was quite a difficult field to break into. From there, I started doing a few different things to gain some extra skills and experience, such as a trainee public health analyst course, which ultimately led to me becoming a Project Manager.
While I never made an active decision to turn away from psychology, other doors just started opening for me and I absolutely love what I do now. I’m fortunate that many aspects of my job still involve what I always loved about Psychology; talking to people, motivating people and understanding what makes people tick!
I started off working on different fixed term contracts in the NHS, including renal, cardiology and cost improvement work, allowing me to save money for the NHS.
My Career Highlights
My career with the NHS has allowed me to work on a lot of different projects, and one of my biggest highlights has to be overseeing the building of a Cardiac Cath Lab in Burton on Trent. This was a huge project and one of the most rewarding aspects was being able to pick up a host of new skills; I’d never worked on something that included construction or groundworks… and probably never will again! It’s also extremely satisfying to know that there’s now something physically there to show the work that’s been done.
More recently, I’ve been working on a few mental health projects and have just conducted a review of mental health crisis services in Lincolnshire. It was a huge report that was supported by a number of key organisations and I’m hopeful that this will provoke real change. We fully reviewed local crisis services and gathered feedback from service users and professionals, so we were able to get a sense of what can be done differently to improve things. The feedback has been brilliant and it’s something I’m really proud of as its work like this that really does make a difference.
Working on a project basis can be somewhat frustrating at times as when it comes to the implementation element, things are effectively out of my hands. You go in, work on the project you’ve been commissioned for and then move on. I’ve moved onto a new project now so essentially I’m not getting a hand in the end results. However, the local commissioners know what needs to happen now and I’m confident that with the excellent team we have in place, change will be made.
A Career with Purpose
I’m really lucky that working with the NHS on a contract basis offers me the versatility to do different things. I’ve just finished working on mental health and now I’m moving onto a new project that will look at prevention and early intervention for safeguarding. While every project I work on is different, I enjoy the variety and feel like all of the work I do makes a real difference to people’s lives. Moving from project to project, it feels like everything has built from the last thing I’ve done and has allowed my career to progress quite naturally.
There’s something about working with the NHS that gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling; you just get the sense that people are so grateful we’re trying to make a difference and improve things. The feedback you get from public engagement makes it all worthwhile and hearing different people’s stories gives me real motivation every day.
Working with Real Public Sector
I remember my first contact with Real Public Sector was with Katrina Chattin, Associate Team Manager. She got in touch and managed to persuade me to take on a role in Bradford which I’d initially turned down from another agency, and thank goodness she did as it was a great opportunity! Working with Real Public Sector has always had a personal feel to it; Kat would frequently come and meet me for a coffee, making an effort to keep in touch with me even when I was working on different projects. It was actually thanks to Kat that I was able to take on the role working on the review of mental health services in Lincolnshire. She was just brilliant; the role hadn’t even been advertised yet but Kat thought of me instantly and thanks to her I was able to take on this fulfilling project, and I’ve now been asked to stay on to undertake another project.
What the NHS means to me
There’s something about working with the NHS that makes you feel good. The NHS helps anyone and everyone and doesn’t have a particular set of customers. You never know when you’ll need the service; it could impact someone you walk past on the street, it could impact your family, it could impact you, and it probably will do at some point in your life. Whether it’s a simple trip to the dentist, or being treated for a terminally ill disease, everyone’s impacted in some way and we should all be thankful to the incredible people who work there.
I just think it’s an amazing service that’s renowned around the world. It’s an institution and working in the hub of the NHS allows me to meet the people who’ve been affected. It’s truly eye opening and shows me every day just how valuable the service is.
Thank you to the NHS
We celebrated the NHS' 70th birthday by creating a short video to thank everyone within the NHS. You can view the video below...
The NHS offers a career with purpose, offering talented professionals the opportunity to use their skills to make a real difference. If you want to learn more about the inspiring roles we have on offer, get in touch with one of our dedicated consultants today.