My name is Olivia Shaw. I’m 26 years old and I work for Leeds Community Healthcare as an e-Rostering Implementation Officer. I spend approximately eight weeks with a team to learn about them and their requirements then build an electronic roster to suit the team’s specific needs. The final part of my involvement with each team member is to make sure they understand the roster and train them in its use. When this is completed, I move on to the next team.

In January of this year I attended the Systems Leadership module as part of the three-day ‘Leading Leeds Community Healthcare (LCH)’ course, aiming to progress my personal and professional development. I benefited from the module far more than I could have hoped for. I’ve now been given this incredible opportunity to share my experience with you and, hopefully, get across to anyone reading this how valuable it has been to me.

The course itself covers the social and geographical boundaries that exist in our community. By breaking down these boundaries we can improve our communication, thus increasing our learning. In turn, this can help us to improve our systems and processes, resulting in an increase in our capacity to care for those who need our help. I left feeling inspired.

It was a relaxed, informal environment, where we were able to share experiences with fellow employees who wouldn’t normally cross our path in day-to-day work. It was an opportunity to network and learn from each other. I’ve had a few people I met getting in touch, asking for help with areas in which I’m skilled, and I’ve done the same. I met a group of people who have the knowledge and experience which can help me in my role, as we work towards ensuring that our patients get the best care.

Since I attended the Systems Leadership module I have used the knowledge I’ve gained by continuing to interact with others, whilst building better relationships and working towards a better understanding of the systems and processes that exist in Leeds. Incidentally, I have been offered my first interview for a leadership role!

If I had to summarise my learning from the Systems Leadership module I would say that it doesn’t matter what your role is, what your banding is, or where in the process you sit; every individual can be a leader if they choose to be. We have the ability to break down the social and geographical boundaries that exist within our community. With effective communication, and a better understanding of the wider systems, we can ensure that our patients have the ‘right care, in the right place, at the right time’.

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