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Proud to work for the NHS

Tuesday 26th April 2022

Proud to work for the NHS

Hayley Boulden, Senior Consultant in the NHS Yorkshire and Humber NECS Consultancy team, reflects on why working in a health and care system team is important to her.

A curious thing happened to me last weekend. I was catching up with a friend on a video call, and suddenly the WiFi and lights flickered and everything went dark: clearly a power cut. Just before she vanished from screen, my friend had asked me the question: “So, what do you do in your role, again…?”.

The pause in conversation forced me to stop and think how I was going to frame my answer. I sometimes think there is a common misconception that if you work for the NHS, you are probably a doctor or a nurse. Those jobs are, of course, unquestionably important and fundamental to our healthcare service, but I am always slightly amused by the reaction when I say, “I work in an NHS Consultancy team”.

This often sparks a confused response – “You mean you work for one of the ‘private’ Consultancy companies?” – however, I am proud to work for the NHS Yorkshire and Humber NECS Consultancy team… and let me tell you why.

Firstly, NECS is a genuine part of the NHS, not an ‘external’ company. We are both an organisation within and work for the NHS and wider care sector, with many of the same values as other parts of the health service, and putting any ‘profits’ made directly back into the NHS. We are here to support, work collaboratively with, and expertly advise other health and care teams, and have delivered many interesting and impactful programmes over the last few years including COVID vaccination rollout, national digital solutions, and Integrated Care Systems (ICS) transitions.

It’s clear that my colleagues in NECS Consultancy genuinely care about what they do – we really want to make a difference to the health and care organisations, and ultimately patients, we serve. The team has a wealth of experience, some moving to Consultancy roles from internally within the NHS itself; this helps us to truly understand the pressures different clients are under, from hospitals or local authorities, to primary care or ICSs. Ultimately, we are all part of the same huge NHS family, working together to improve and innovate.

Furthermore, I feel fortunate that our Consultancy team are so approachable and supportive. Projects can be highly varied and so being a Senior Consultant brings a new challenge every day, yet the quality of work I have seen my team produce is outstanding. A caring team and friendly face is not to be underestimated, in particular over the last few years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When the lights flashed back on, I managed to call my friend back and the conversation eventually returned to work. I like to think I gave the explanation of my role some justice – but what makes NECS special is the people. I believe this and all the above makes us stand out from other Consultancy firms. I have never been prouder to work for the NHS, and never prouder to work with my team within NECS Consultancy.

If you would like to know more about the work we deliver at NECS Consultancy or within the Yorkshire and Humber team, please get in touch at: NECSU.consultants@nhs.net