In this blog Emma Hardy, BA (Hons) Business Sandwich, tells us more about her placement year at the NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group. Read on to find out more about what she does, how she secured the role and where to apply if you’re interested in this placement in 2015/16.
I am currently on placement at the NHS Eastern Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) based in Macclesfield; which is responsible for planning, buying and monitoring healthcare services for the local population of 204,000 people. NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups are dotted around the country and are allocated a budget each year by NHS England. CCGs are responsible for commissioning healthcare services based upon the local population’s needs.
I was interested in this placement because of the fantastic opportunity to work for one of the most recognisable organisations in the country: the NHS! I also thought this placement would give me experience in a number of different areas within the business field, which would be very valuable for my future.
I found this placement on the Manchester Metropolitan University placement vacancy site rather late on in the academic year; around May time, by which point I was on the verge of giving up on finding a placement as revision had taken over my life! After finishing my exams, I sat down to tackle the difficult task of writing a tailored cover letter and CV to apply for this placement. Having previously had no experience working within the healthcare sector, I was unsure about what to include in my cover letter. I arranged a meeting with a member of the Placement Team who advised me to focus on my project management skills and also suggested that I should express why I wanted to work for the NHS.
After applying for a number of placements, I have learnt that it is extremely important to emphasise how keen you are to work for a particular organisation and to ensure that your cover letter is tailored to the job description.
Fast forward to the end of June… I attended the interview and was told I had got the job! My start date was 1st September 2014, which gave me the opportunity to have a nice break before entering the working world!
First few months on placement
It didn’t take long to settle into my new work environment, all the staff were extremely welcoming which instantly made me feel at ease!
I am now responsible for managing a range of projects, including; developing a mobile APP for health and social care professionals, working with the Finance Team to code and pay invoices, drawing up contracts for local providers, writing business cases to commission new services… the list goes on!
I work autonomously, which suits my working style and also makes me feel like a trusted and valued member of the team. I also have a weekly mentoring session with my line manager, where we discuss the progress of my work and also any concerns that I may have.
Finally, I would like to express that working for the NHS over the past few months has been both exciting and challenging; there is a huge amount to learn about the NHS and the healthcare sector; but you DO NOT need medical/healthcare experience for this placement. I work in different departments, but focus my time within the Business Team where the quality of the healthcare services are monitored, contracts are drawn up and projects are implemented. Each day is different at the Clinical Commissioning Group; I am constantly meeting new people and managing a number of different tasks throughout the day.
Remember to use the Placement Team to help with CVs, cover letters and interview preparations; I really don’t think I would have been able to secure a placement without their help!
If you would like to find out more about my weekly activities whilst on placement, visit my blog; www.emmahardynhsblog.blogspot.co.uk
Good luck and do not give up!
The Placement Team offer 1-to-1 support with your placement search. To book an appointment visit the Placement Desk located in The Hub.
Emma writes a regular blog for the NHS detailing her placement activities. If you’d like to read Emma’s weekly blog you can view it online at www.emmahardynhsblog.blogspot.co.uk.
NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG is now recruiting for a 2015/16 Commissioning & Quality Officer placement student full details are available on our vacancy system.