Information governance manager

Andrew's story

Andrew Kinglake is featured in Spark the Difference's Humans of Healthcare art exhibition and is interviewed here by Sam Meikle, founder of Spark the Difference.

You'll also find a link to Andrew's interview warm-ups below: Getting to know Andrew in 10 questions.

Sam: Welcome to the Humans of Healthcare edition of the Spark the Difference podcast. My guest in this episode is Andrew Kinglake. Andrew, thanks for joining me.

Andrew: Thank you.

Sam: Where’s your accent from?

Andrew: From the home counties of Buckinghamshire. It can change according to where I am in the country as well.

Sam: Where have you spent most of your working life?

Andrew: Based in London, I was out in Hertfordshire for a while but based in London.


Sam: What do you do for work now?

Andrew: Information security and governance.

Sam: And what does that mean for the person on the street?

Andrew: To the person on the street it means protecting their information appropriately and making it available, wherever possible and wherever appropriate.


Sam: How long have you been doing that for?

Andrew: Over 15 years now, I never thought I’d do it that long. When someone bends over my desk and says, ‘sort out this data protection thing for me, please.’


Sam: What made you decide to start working in health and social care?

Andrew: Initially it was just another job really and after a while it made me realise that I was interested in it. So I spent some time working in an NHS Trust, then worked outside healthcare and then back in healthcare. I’ve actually recently made the decision that healthcare is something that really interests me and I want to return to, which I’m lucky to be able to do again in a few weeks' time.


Sam: What’s made you stay, why do you keep coming back?

Andrew: Two things really – one, in my sort of role it's quite difficult to think you’re making, or could help make a difference to an individual person - working in other areas, working in the financial services area – it's just very much more about protecting the organisation as well and making money for the organisation. Whereas I think in healthcare there's a real opportunity to try and transform the profession a bit as well. To make it one where the average person on the street - their information is treated in the way that they would expect, not just protecting it but also making it available and accessible across the boundaries; the artificial boundaries that there are in healthcare.

I know that when my family has been ill, I don’t want someone asking me for consent all those times, I just want the treatment done and everything else to be done in the background. So I guess that’s the thing that hopefully I can help in a small way.

Sam: And what keeps you going, ‘cause I can’t imagine it being an easy role?

Andrew: I think it is, in a way - because its one of the few roles in which you get to talk and know and have great input across the organisation. There are things that are very different each day and you are also have conversations with very different levels of the organisation.


Sam: What has working in health and social care services meant to you?

Andrew: I think it's opened my eyes to the fact that there’s a real broad range of people inputting into the health and social care space and there’s an importance for each and every one of those roles. It’s not just the front line care staff, it’s the fact that there are other people supporting them in that background trying to make it as easy as possible. Again that is something I hope I can do - help to enable those who are delivering the direct front line care to do their job as easily as possible without all the extra work.


Sam: Thinking about when you or a family member used health or social care services, can you tell me about a time when things went really well?

Andrew: Yeah, so me. I walked to the doctors after I’d been moaned at for a week. So I walked a mile and half to the doctors. I said that I sort of had this little bit of chest pain since last year. They took me in and did the ECG, etc.

Then someone said, "you actually need to go off to hospital and we’re really sorry, but we’ve just called an ambulance for an old lady so you’re going to be a bit delayed”.

It was late by just couple minutes - not a problem what so ever. I was thinking, well there’s not actually really anything really wrong with me for all of this.

And within probably an hour and a half I was on an operating table at one of the heart hospitals and they did an investigation. Thankfully, they found that there was absolutely nothing wrong – it was a virus. But the treatment I got at that time was excellent really. It was really good. And quite apart from anything else, they kept feeding us tea and biscuits every half an hour which was phenomenal. I’ve never eaten so well.

Sam: The bit that’s sticking to me was that you walked a mile and a half to the doctors.

Andrew: Yeah it wasn’t really a problem at all, I think they were just panicking.


Sam: Knowing what you know now, if you could, what one piece of advice would you give yourself at the start of your healthcare career?

Andrew: I think probably stick with it. Don’t keep jumping in and out. Actually get yourself much more integrated with a lot of the activity that’s going on.

Sam: What does that look like?

Andrew: So I think, you know, really make that conscious decision early on that if you wish to do some work in healthcare, to not keep doing different bits of work in and out of healthcare. So that it’s consistent employment and you’re able to get to know a lot of people within that arena.


Sam: If you feel comfortable to do so, can you please tell me about the scariest, darkest or most challenging moment of your career?

Andrew: So its not scary now, but one of the most scary thing is - I was used to give presentations to small groups of people and then stood up in front of 300 people after having done a presentation to sort of 10 before, and I was really young at that time and sticks in my mind as one of the most scary times that I put myself out in an uncomfortable environment.

Sam: How did you get through it?

Andrew: As quickly as possible. Absolutely.

Sam: You were like a train track, speeding along.

Andrew: Absolutely. The 10 minute session was 5 minutes I think.

Sam: Your audience may have appreciated that.


Sam: What has working in healthcare taught you about people?

Andrew: I guess everyone is a person. I know it sounds really benign, but actually everyone should have the same amount of respect and the same amount of care, no matter who they are and their background.


Sam: Thinking about all of the people you have worked with and for over the years and all the people you have helped along the way who has had the greatest impact on you?

Andrew: Wow. I worked in same organisation as my wife for a while, so I should probably say her. But, apart from her…

Do you know the people I think probably that had the greatest impact - have changed me - are the people who are really struggling to work and have families as well and to balance that out; to just understand the challenges that they have got for that and the pressures that they feel that they’re not being successful that either side of what they are doing. So it’s not one person it’s a variety of people. That’s really change my outlook I think.

Sam: In what way?

Andrew: I think originally, many years ago – I’d have been very much in the camp, and just said ‘tough you’re here to work, get on with it’ and no sort of have empathy or understanding of that.


Sam: What have you had to work hardest at to be a success at your job?

Andrew: Well, I guess that’s from the starting point that am I a success? That I have done anything of success in the first place?

Sam: Oh Andrew!

Andrew: That’s open for a bit of debate. Let’s say that maybe in a few more years, we can look back and do that.

I think probably for me, it’s not wanting to do things too quickly and having to temper that as well. Particularly in different environments and really understanding the pace that the organisation is working at. Trying to push it a bit, trying to push it along - but realising that the world’s not going to change in a fortnight. Which is quite good if you go on holiday for a fortnight, you know when you come back, nothing will have changed fundamentally.

It can be quite a challenge and it’s quite a challenge for me to maintain energy as well, if it’s quite a slow pace.


Sam: Looking back across your career to date, what do you hope people you have worked with, remember you for?

Andrew: Just being relatively friendly and engaging and OK to get on in a workplace. I think that’s the lasting memory I’d like for people to have and that sort of respect about you and what you do and what you achieve in your role as well. In my role I think that's really important because most people think it's incredibly dull and you can be the ‘no’ person who sits in the corner, so those interpersonal relationships make things a success are really important.

Sam: I couldn’t agree more.


Sam: Is there anything that has come up in the course of our conversation that you are reflecting on now, that perhaps half an hour ago wasn’t front of mind?

Andrew: I think it’s always quite a challenge for me talking about what I want to do, how I want to achieve it itself and that period of reflection. So it’s really good to do this sort of thing and have these sort of conversations to really understand and to reflect on why I’m really wanting to do something; why I want to work in a particular area and the sort of role I’d like to do as well.

So think that’s quite challenge and probably one I’ll go away and think about and sob into my cup of tea tonight.

Sam: I’ve been speaking to some clinicians and they've been talking about the importance having built in reflection time into their careers. They have to do appraisals and some were saying we often don’t take this seriously enough and that’s such a big shame because that reflection time - that learning - is giving you the direction of where you want to go. So we were discussing is that a responsibility of an organisation or a system to help give you that time and space, or does it come down to the individual?

Andrew: To me it’s a personal responsibility. I think in my experience the systems around the appraisals can get terribly bureaucratic - as can anything that’s developed by someone with a passion in that area, they develop it for themselves rather than people being applied against.

In appraisals I normally have a much more light weight version if I was designing it. Hopefully this is not offending too many HR people.
There’s that space for that personal reflection as well. If that’s prompted by work that’s excellent, but I do think we all need our own personal responsibility to think about it ourselves.


Sam: Thank you very much for your time today Andrew.

Andrew: Thank you.

Sam: And thank you all for listening.

Ranisha's story

Ranisha Dhamu is featured in Spark the Difference's Humans of Healthcare art exhibition and is interviewed here by Sam Meikle, founder of Spark the Difference.

You'll also find links to Ranisha's two interview warm-ups: (1) Getting to know Ranisha in 10 questions and (2) Ranisha's drawing challenge.

Sam: Welcome to the Humans of Healthcare edition of the Spark the Difference podcast. My guest in this episode is Ranisha Dhamu. Ranisha, thanks for joining me.

Ranisha: Thank you.

Sam: Where’s your accent from?

Ranisha: London. North West London



Sam: What do you do for work now?

Ranisha: At the moment I’m on a secondment working for the Local Government Association. And working on pioneers, the health pioneer work that is going on - working with NHS and Department of Health and just working on Informatics.

Sam: For the person on the street, what’s a health pioneer site?

Ranisha: The NHS and Department of Health have said that by 2020 they want to digitalise health and social care. In the last 2-3 years there have been 25 pioneer sites being brought up, where health and social care are working together to try and improve the integration between the two different authorities. I work on the Informatics part just to make sure that data, IT, all of that, is working where we can help.



Sam: What were you doing before that?

Ranisha: I’m an information governance officer for the London Borough of Brent.

I help Brent making sure that the citizens data is safe, that we make sure that we share information between us and other local authorities or other organisations - safely, securely and appropriately. I deal with any data breaches. I did a lot of Subject Access Requests where the public would write in and ask for their information. So making sure they get the right information.



Sam: What has working in health and social care services meant to you?

Ranisha: Me personally, I’ve got cerebral palsy - I was born with cerebral palsy. Working in health and social care has actually opened my eyes to how it actually all works on the inside. You see the bad press; you never see the good press. You always see bad press and you think ‘really is that how it works?’

But being on the inside, it gives you a different view to it, altogether. So for me, it’s helped me with my personal life and I think what we’re doing is helping the public. Well, hopefully it will help the public in the right way.



Sam: Thinking about when you or a family member used health or social care services, can you tell me that time when it didn't go so well?

Ranisha: When I was born they had to use forceps to deliver me and because they used the forceps there was a lack of oxygen to my head for literally 30 - 40 seconds, if that. And that’s what caused my cerebral palsy.

And obviously both my parents had arrived in England in ’71 and I was born in ’73. So they were still pretty new and they had only come over here because they got kicked out of Uganda because of Idi Amin. And my mum thought there was something wrong with me - obviously English wasn’t her first language and would rely on my father to help her.

She always said to him, ‘there’s something not right, there’s something not right, there’s something not right.’

She'd mentioned it and he would bring it up to health service. And they said ‘no no no there is nothing wrong with her’ because they couldn’t physically see anything wrong with me as a baby. But as I started moving and walking they realised because I had a limp. So it took them a good two to three years before anybody actually physically did anything about it. And that's because they could physically see that there was something wrong with me. I don’t know if it would a difference.

My mum blames the way they delivered me. So when I had my babies, she could go frantic making sure it went ok. She was very scared of that and I think, I don’t think she’s ever gotten over that.

I need a hip replacement but they keep pushing me off, because I’m too young. So I've got to deal with the pain. I’ve got a walking stick now, which has been hard. It’s taken me a good year to get used to it. I feel uncomfortable because of my children - you know, trying to explain to them why Mum’s like this. But they have been really, really good. Not once have they ever questioned, 'why do you limp, or why do you shake'. Which just shows how well they have been brought up, to be honest.



Sam: What one piece of advice would you give to young professional who is just starting out on their career about how to retain their values or how to stay human in an increasingly stressed and difficult environment?

Ranisha: Always follow what you believe in. You know if you feel passionate about something and you think no this is the way it should be and you really believe it should be. Don’t digress from it. Don’t let anyone talk you out of what you believe in, what you read.

Form your own opinions. Don’t get waylaid with multi-media and all the rest. There’s so much stuff out; they are so negative. People do not talk about the positive things that are happening. Go out and look for the positive 'cause that will help you overcome the negatives and never give up.



Sam: If you feel comfortable to do so, please tell me about the scariest, darkest or most challenging moment in your career.

Ranisha: I grew up being bullied and all the rest of it. For me, I learnt - I sound strong, but deep down I’m still quite soft. But I’ve learnt to ignore people and just pick up – I had a situation before I went to Brent, I had a temporary job at a lawyer’s office. When I turned up there, they had me climbing ladders and all the rest of it… so they weren’t paperless!

They actually refused to pay the agency that I came from because they hadn’t notified them of my disability. I’m not registered disabled, so as far as I am concerned I’m not disabled. I didn’t see it as a disability, the agency didn’t see it as a disability. It went to court. They ended up paying out.

It was quite a hard time for me, because it was a bit of a reality check for me because it got me to think it wasn’t just school that I got this negativity and people bullying. It actually happens in your adult life as well. It was a reality check that I’ve got to toughen up.



Sam: What has working in healthcare taught you about people?

Ranisha: They're very different. Very, very different kettle of fish. Health and social care in itself is very different people. There are caring people in both sectors but I feel - see I have my social care hat on and 'cause I’ve tried to work with health and various different things and it’s never worked well and it’s all been issues.

I feel social care is like the poor relative. That’s what it makes me feel like. That you’re there - you’re not that important. But when we want something from you, we want it from you straight away. That’s how social care feels about health. That needs to change.

I did think that when they put the Health and Social Care Information center together I thought, ‘Oh yes we’re going to make a difference now’, ‘cause you had social care in the description. But it was officially announced last week that they were going to be renamed, NHS Digital. So ok, they have taken the social care out of it all together. How are you expecting to be integrated in digital in 2020, when you’re really struggling to get social care on board with anything here?

They’re willing to do it, but you’re asking them to do things without giving them the funding - putting health first. I don’t know how it’s going to – it will work, I’m sure it will, but its things like that, that make you think - hmm really?



Sam: What have you had to work hardest at to be a success in your job?

Ranisha: I think being an Asian woman. Being an Asian woman and having my health issues. I think when people first look at you, they think, ‘is she going to be ok, is she capable - is she going to be able to perform or get things done?’.

So for me, to get over that barrier I think I’ve pushed myself, more - to work harder, to prove myself. Which I really shouldn’t have to. People should just take me for as I am, but that’s made me a stronger person.

I went into the IT department and its male orientated. I was told to go to the Information Security Forum for London for the first time. I walked in and thought it would be fine. There was a room full of 30 people. Out of the 30 people, there were only three women and one of them was me.

I felt like, ‘Oh my God. What am I doing here? Why am I here?

But no, ‘you can do this’ and I sat there. I still go. I’m still there. and there’s more women there. None of them ever looked at us in a strange way, but it was that, first, ‘why am I here?’.

Sam: I went to high school in the ‘90s and we had all the bumper stickers there ‘Girls can do anything’ and so I was really brought up in that mentality - women can do anything. I find it quite shocking that in 2016 we’re having a conversation where you’re noticing you’re one of three women in a room full of guys.

Ranisha: I even updated my status with that - ‘Oh my God, what am I doing here?’

I think I’m actually really fortunate that my parents forced me and my brothers to educate ourselves. For my Mum, it wasn’t about stay at home, cooking having a family and the rest of it. It was go out there - study hard - make something of yourself, so you don’t have the struggles we had. There were other girls I went to school with, they were never pushed. With them pushing us, I did manage to get through school, through college, though university and now working.

Not once have they ever said - when I had the boys, my Mum was like, ‘I will look after them if you need to go back to work. You need to go back to work, you can’t stay at home. You need to progress your career.

So I was very, very fortunate that I had parents that pushed me to make something of myself.

Sam: Thank you Ranisha’s parents.



Sam: Looking back across your career to date, what do you hope that the people who have worked with you remember you for?

Ranisha: Fun, happy going, hard working person that I am. I’ve made some very good friends through my career - people I don’t actually work with anymore but are still friends. I don’t think you should do a job if you’re not happy doing it. If you’re not happy doing what you’re doing, get out. Don’t be there just for the sake of the money worth. You need to be able to be passionate and enjoy what you do.



Sam: Has anything come up to the surface for you just after our discussion? Or perhaps you have reflective on something now that you hadn’t a couple weeks or months ago?

Ranisha: Actually what I have realised is that what I am doing is actually impacting – you know its small, it's minute, but there’s big changes coming and I’m going to be a big part of that change, helping to be part of that change. And hoping it will open new doors for me as well. It was a move. I made a bold move. I will see what else is out there for me.

Whatever I do is going to have an impact on my family. I want them to see that Mum’s a strong professional and want to them to think, ‘yeah, we want to do the same’.

Sam: I have absolutely no doubt that your boys will be able to see that so clearly. And you will inspire not just the men in your house in their lives, but so many people around you.

Thank you so very much for your time. It’s been an absolute pleasure and thank you for inviting me into your home for this session today.

Ranisha: No problem. Thank you.

Jessica's story

Jessica Robson is featured in Spark the Difference's Humans of Healthcare art exhibition and is interviewed here by Sam Meikle, founder of Spark the Difference.

You'll also find links to Jessica's two interview warm-ups: (1) Getting to know Jessica in 10 questions and (2) Jessica's drawing challenge.

Sam: Welcome to the Humans of Healthcare edition of the Spark the Difference podcast. My guest in this episode is Jessica Robson. Thank you for joining us.

Jessica: Thank you.

Sam: Where’s your accent from?

Jessica: Well, my Mum is from Nottingham and my Dad is a Geordie, so I think I’m sort of just the middle England somewhere, not entirely sure.

Sam: And where did you grow up?

Jessica: I grew up in the Lake District. A little village in Cumbria called Grange-over-Sands. Not many people know it, it’s in Morecombe. It’s quite a small village; lots of elderly people driving really fancy cars, really slowly. But it was a beautiful place to grow up, right on the beach and not that far from the lakes and the mountains, so we were out quite a lot with outdoor pursuits and just a great place to live.


Sam: And where have you spent mostly of you working life?

Jessica: Mostly in Leeds, Yorkshire. Sort of 15 years probably and I’ve been in London for about, almost 3 years.


Sam: What do you do for work now?

Jessica: I work in Information Governance in the NHS. I’ve been working there for a few years. I absolutely love it. It’s such a varied role. You never know when there’s going to be an incident, which is obviously terrible. But there’s always something to do, something to fix. Lots of training, dealing with audits and The Toolkit as well.


Sam: And what were you doing before that?

Jessica: I’ve been working in Information Governance for about 8 years now. But before then, I worked in at an estate agents. I managed a branch. I still love properties. Love to spend an afternoon looking through property websites or sometimes going through house viewings. Obviously I’m not looking to move. I worked in HSBC for a little while and worked in the complaints department. And that’s my entire work history.


Sam: What’s striking me at the moment is you don’t choose roles that are going to be very easy. You’re perhaps dealing with feedback that could be quite negative or critical. What’s drawn you to that?

Jessica: I don’t think that really makes a difference. I think, if someone comes to me and they’re not happy, you’ve got to deal with a complaint. I know they’re not against me, they’re not sort of complaining at me and that’s fine. I can sort of take that away and try and deal with the problem and hopefully try and help them or and fix the issue, whatever it might be.

I’m certainly not one to sort of take that on my shoulder and go home and worry about for the rest of the night or something like that. You know, people get upset, people get angry and that’s fine, just let them vent and then try and deal with the situation.


Sam: What has working health and social care services meant to you?

Jessica: It means, even though I’m not there, I’m not a doctor, I’m not a nurse, I’m not working on the front line with the patients, I like to think I’m there working in the background helping out, in some way. I’m protecting the people’s information and making sure that I do train the people that are dealing face to face with the patients and making sure they know what they should be doing with people’s information. I’m a cog somewhere in the wheel hopefully helping someone, cure them and get better in some sort of shape or form.


Sam: Thinking about when you or a family member used health or social care services, can you tell me about time when it went really well?

Jessica: Yeah, not that long about a month ago actually, I was slightly injured and ended up going to hospital A&E. And I was in a bit of pain and I wasn’t really in a good mood. But there was a woman, I think she was one of the triage nurses. She ended up being the person that would see me through from the beginning to the end and she was there to have the x-ray - and she was just great.

And I’m sure she just did her job as she’s meant to, but she was enthusiastic, she was just caring. She kept telling me what was happening at every particular stage.

And I said when I left, ‘you do know, you’re absolutely amazing’.

And she said, ‘I’m just doing my job.

And I’m sure she was but there was just something about her. She was just absolutely great.

Sam: Reflecting about that now, what do you think it was about her?

Jessica: I think it was her attitude, but she really did care. She was actually leaving her shift just after I was about to leave the hospital. So I don’t know how long a nurse shift is, 10, 12 hours perhaps, but she was just there. She was just ready to help and you know, just really engaging.


Sam: What one piece of advice would you give the young professional who is just starting out on their health and social care career, about how they can retain their values or how to stay human in an increasingly stressed environment?

Jessica: I would suggest that they think about the job that they are doing and why they are doing it. What is their aim for doing that particular role? It may be the case that they can’t, perhaps they are not in the right role. But if they think that’s what they want to do - what are their aims? What are the aims of the organisation as well? What’s the mindset that they you know need to get into and try to focus on that.


Sam: Knowing what you know now, if you could, what one piece of advice would you give yourself if you were starting out on your career?

Jessica: Wow, I’m not sure that I would change anything. Because if I were to change something, I wouldn’t be the same person, I wouldn’t have met the people that I’ve met and had the experiences. So I think my career has turned out OK. I’m very happy with where I am.

But if I go back in the time machine and make any amendments we wouldn’t be here today, would we? It’s unlikely.


Sam: What has been the best or the worst advice you’ve ever received?

Jessica: Ok, the best advice had to be when I was leaving a job and we had a bit of a leaving do and someone said to me, well said to everyone, around the table, ‘where do you see yourselves in five years?’

And some people said, ‘I want to be my manager’s manager; I want to be in your job’, to the woman.

And I said to her, ‘I’m not entirely sure where I see myself in five years. I don’t really make plans at the moment, I am just going to aim to do as best as I can do and see where that ends me.

And then I asked her. She said, ‘Well, I would say the exactly the same as you actually.’

And she was very respected person and in Information Governance and she still does. And she’s had a very long career and is very successful. So someone to look up to. And it was interesting that she said that she would have gave the same answer that I did.


Sam: And what’s happened as a result of that, do you think?

Jessica: I moved down to London – big city, so that was exciting. And I’ve been able to progress my career, I’ve been able to do some training and keep in touch with local Information Governance community, which I think is really key.


Sam: If you feel comfortable to do so, can you please tell me about the scariest, darkest or most challenging moment of your career?

Jessica: It was a difficult time for me, but perhaps not the worst was - when I was dealing with particular incident and a member of staff had unfortunately made a mistake in the organisation, that had resulted in a breach. Not a huge breach, but a breach of some patient information nonetheless.

We had the panel and we discussed what had gone wrong and what we could do moving forward to mitigate any future risk. And the member of staff that had made this mistake, was at the panel and had obviously been very upset, you know crying a lot before the session and was physically shaking with nerves. And from what I could tell, had been seriously told off by her manager.

So I was there as someone who was not working within her department, but as the Information Governance lead in the organisation and I was happy that she was there. She made some really good suggestions in regards to how we could have changed our process and things that we implemented not only in her department and throughout.

But, sitting there looking at the fact that were having a panel about information governance breach and seeing how distressed she was and traumatised she was that she had made this mistake. It obviously wasn’t deliberate. It was horrible to see, but I was able to, well I think, I tried - to reassure her and thank her for being there and like I said had suggestions for the future were absolutely great. So it was really appreciated that she actually came along.

Sam: How did you get through that in the moment?

Jessica: A lot of smiles at her across the table. A lot of reassurance to her and thanking her and other people for being there and for talking about what we did in terms of the incident and what we’ve already told the person whose information we had unfortunately released and their feedback from that as well which was fairly understandable, which was great, but nonetheless upsetting obviously for the person. Moving forward, just keep in touch with her after the session and just reassuring her as much as possible.


Sam: What has working in health and social care taught you about people?

Jessica: That everyone is different. But also, that there are just some amazing people out there, that have overcome some terrible illnesses and traumatic deaths in the family. But, just somehow they pull through. The ones that do survive just seem to be to make their lives so much better as well.


Sam: Small things can make a big difference. Has there been a time when a small act made you feel valued and respected?

Jessica: I think it has to be a time when, someone just gets in touch with you when they don’t have, to say thank you.

So it could be perhaps a patient, maybe they made a Subject Access Request, as they can do - as anyone can do under the Data Protection Act - and they’ll get in touch to say thank you for their medical records being sent out, that they really appreciated it.

That’s not really anything that they need to say thank you for. It’s something that, in some cases it’s a service they even paid for, but so they just call up with such compassion and they’re so grateful, to say thank you and let you know how that’s changed their life in some shape or form.

Which I find really unusual, to be honest. But it’s obviously the way you write the letters and the communications you have with them, especially if it’s something that’s quite time consuming or some records from a while ago that are hard to find. They do seem to appreciate it in some shape or form.


Sam: And what I find interesting listening to you, thinking, ‘why would they thank me for something that I’m just doing in my job?’, is the example you gave earlier about being in the A&E with the nurse, and she was like, ‘oh I’m just doing my job’.

Jessica: And I suppose I did exactly the same thing to her. And she said, ‘Thank you very much, but this is my job.’ So, yeah. It happens both ways doesn’t it? in lots of places.

Sam: But I like that you take the time to thank people as well as you recognising it.

What have you had to work hardest at, to be a success in your job?

Jessica: I think, for me, I always recognise people’s faces. But it’s always quite taxing sometimes to remember their names, especially when I’m doing lots of training or I’m standing in front of all the new starters in the organisation, doing the induction. I’ll walk through the corridors in the next coming weeks and people would just go ‘Hi’ and they’ll say my name and how’s it going, or ask me a question. And I’ll look at them thinking, I do recognise you or I don’t, but clearly, you know me somehow. So I always try and learn their names as much as possible and the department they work in.

So that’s maybe a really small thing compared with what I do, but just remembering who people are, especially when they know me, which has always been quite difficult.

Sam: What’s helped you do that?

Jessica: I think just time. Paying more attention. Just stopping and talking to people. If they honestly know who I am and I don’t recognise them, I just have to tell them. Somehow politely say or ask them some questions and they might mention what department they work in and sometimes the penny drops.


Sam: Looking back across your career to date, what do you hope people would always remember you for?

Jessica: I work in information governance, so I’d like to say information governance. Can I do that?

Sam: Mm-hmmm [yes]

Jessica: Information governance.

Sam: What about it?

Jessica: Just, that I think I am enthusiastic about the role and about moving things forward and making a change. But also, I’m very big on training. If you don’t train your staff, if you don’t teach them the ‘dos and the don’ts’ and the rules, the processes and the policies, then we can’t expect them to work right.

I mean obviously, people are our biggest risk in any organisation. So we can never guarantee if someone has had a bad sleep or had an argument with someone at home and maybe more likely to make a mistake. But certainly in training in information governance has to be the most important thing and has to be something that I am really passionate about.


Sam: Thank you. If you could thank one person for helping you to where you are today who would it be?

Jessica: Could I pick two? I’d pick my parents - for teaching me, for bringing me up in the way that they have, for encouraging me, at every point. Obviously from being a child and into adulthood now. They’re always a big part of my life.

Sam: And what would you say?

Jessica: Thank you.


Sam: Thank you very much for your time Jessica, it’s been a pleasure.

Jessica: It’s been fun, thank you.

Sam: And thank you all for listening.