International Week of the Deaf – Lucy Armstrong: What it’s like working in NECS with Moderate Deafness

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Sep 22, 2023

Lucy Armstrong, one of our senior consultants, tells us what it’s like working in NECS with Moderate Deafness, how she is passionate about accessible healthcare for all and how impressed she is with the values of NECS colleagues.

“When I was only nine months old, I was diagnosed as partially Deaf. Although I have faced some barriers along the way, I have been provided with many opportunities throughout my life. During my teenage years, I became passionate about advocating for accessible healthcare. This involved campaigning for the introduction of screens in waiting rooms, so that Deaf patients didn’t miss the call for their appointment, looking at Deaf awareness training for medical practitioners and introducing other initiatives around accessibility. I have also been part of successful campaigns around period poverty and girls’ rights issues. Being a campaigner and advocate is a massive part of who I am, as well as my Deafness.

“I have been part of the London consultancy team for a year now, which is rapidly growing, so I feel I joined the team at a really exciting time.

“Before joining NECS as a consultant, I had already been working with the consultancy team as a stakeholder on the British Sign Language Rapid Review. I supported the team in gathering and sharing lived experience into a comprehensive report, including recommendations summarising the experiences of BSL users’ access to services prior and during Covid-19. The project was very professionally managed and I was impressed with the team of consultants I was working with. They were really invested in making sure that their work really made a difference. I could instantly see this was the place where I wanted to work. I applied and thankfully I was successful.

“I’ve been really impressed with how all NECS employees demonstrate NECS’ values on a daily basis and work to make the health care landscape better for all citizens. I am currently working on a national research programme where my main role is within the strategy team. I am involved in various tasks, like coordinating communications and engagement, writing and preparing briefings and supporting the team to reach their vision of a world-leading NHS-wide health data research infrastructure, that enhances patient care, sustains the NHS and supports innovation.

“I co-chair the women and carers in consultancy network, which I have loved doing over the last six months.  The network has been able to introduce some really amazing initiatives to support colleagues. This has been a great chance to get involved in internal work and support NECS Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

“After being at NECS for six months, I decided to apply for the senior consultant role and was successful. I felt this was testament to the support and opportunities I had been given so quickly within the team. The NECS learning and development programmes are really accessible and are readily available. They give you a really good chance to meet people from different teams across NECS and learn about their work. I also recently took part in the Coaching Carousel where I was matched with a coach to do a trial coaching session – I found this really valuable and will be looking to take up coaching on a more permanent basis. 

“At NECS, I have been incredibly well supported with my Deafness by being provided with all the necessary equipment to support my access requirements and team members have adapted the way they work to meet my needs. I really appreciate people who take the time to ask me questions, like ‘what works best for me’, as this really supports me in the workplace. I feel that NECS is a place where you can be your true self.

“My highlights at NECS so far have been organising a stakeholder event for my programme and getting over 150 people in a room to discuss strategy and policy.

“I also enjoyed hosting at the consultancy away day as co-chair of Women in Consultancy. This was a session which focused on ‘Breaking the Bias’, with the aim to encourage colleagues to reflect on individual and organisational commitments to equality and diversity. I was also proud to be nominated for the MCA Rising Star award. I’m currently waiting to hear if I have been shortlisted which is really exciting!

“I would encourage people to look at all the different career paths that NECS offer. There are so many ways to get involved and NECS accepts people from all different backgrounds. This is what makes NECS a fantastic and vibrant place to work, so if you are not sure you have the right experience, then please don’t let this deter you from applying for a role with us.”