Alexis Warman, Getting It Right First Time, East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust
The 'Getting It Right First Time' programme, a national scheme to standardise medical practice
Alexis works for East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, an organisation that oversees three main hospitals and numerous satellite hospital services, in the south east of England. Alexis’s job is part of a national NHS programme called 'Getting It Right First Time' (GIRFT).
"You would think every hospital takes the same approach to procedures, but this is not the case."
'Getting It Right First Time' is a scheme designed to improve the treatment and care of patients by reducing variation in medical practice. “You would think every hospital takes the same approach to procedures, but this is not the case. There is some variation in practice. The 'Getting It Right First Time' programme undertakes clinically-led reviews of patient pathways (all the stages a patient goes through from referral, to when they’re finally discharged) to examine how things are currently being done and how they could be improved for optimal efficiency in care, cost effectiveness and the best patient outcomes.” Alexis works with the trust to help surgical areas in hospitals implement the changes. “I help the specialties by providing them with access to GIRFT data, recommendations and pathways, developed by national leads, to ensure we’re all working towards adopting best practice.”
"We are giving the NHS the best opportunity to work through the extensive waiting lists efficiently."
The NHS Trusts across the country are currently faced with an enormous challenge post-Covid: waiting lists and the huge backlog for elective surgery. “The GIRFT programme has reviewed a number of high volume, low complexity operations — hips and knee operations, as an example — and provided NHS Trusts across the country with optimal pathways for certain procedures. By adopting these pathways, we are giving the NHS the best opportunity to work through the extensive waiting lists efficiently whilst staying focussed on the quality of patient care and outcomes.”
"The NHS has a far higher proportion of female to male staff...our current CEO is female and the majority of our executive board."
As a woman in the NHS, Alexis comments that it’s noticeably female centred. “My background was commercial research, and it was a fifty-fifty male-female industry. There wasn’t really any gender divide. When I started working here, it was immediately obvious, and a well-known fact, that the NHS has a far higher proportion of female to male staff. And whilst this varies across the different work types and professions, what impressed me was the high percentage of females in management roles. Our current CEO is female and the majority of our executive board.”
Alexis hopes to stay involved with the NHS for the foreseeable future. On asking about what qualifications or experience are needed for her role, Alexis notes that experience goes a long way. “I’ve worked for twenty years in the research industry. I’ve got a strong project management background so I was able to be successful in my current role on that basis.” As regards non-medical and operational roles within the NHS, she recommends the NHSP – the NHS staff bank. “I think the bank is a great route in to the NHS if you wish to gain experience but aren’t absolutely sure what you want to do. It gives you the opportunity to pick up a temporary role and find out the types of career opportunities there are.” #GettingItRightFirstTime #EastkenthospitalsUniversityNHSFoundationTrust #womenintheNHS
Genevieve Shaw, editor