“I’ve always worked in the public sector and I’ve no interest in working anywhere else. It’s in my bones."
Joanna Norcross is an Assistant Contract Manager. Here is her story...
“My first experience of working for the NHS was in 2012 when I joined a Commissioning Support Unit as an analyst. From there I joined Sussex Partnership in 2014, again as an analyst.
“My primary role was to support our teams in bidding for new services. There has to be a sound business case for us taking on a new service so we carry out competitor analysis to look at what our rival Trusts are doing and how they are doing it so that we can submit as robust a bid as possible.
“I’m now Assistant Contract Manager, which sounds very dry but is essential in ensuring that we deliver the best services we can. Every clinical service that the Trust provides is done so under contract to organisations such as clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and local authorities. Those contracts have to be monitored and managed and that’s what I do.
“I also manage the contracts for services that we “buy” from other NHS providers – the things that we don’t have but that are necessary for our services to work well. For example, we have a regular electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) clinic for which we need an anaesthetist, but we don’t need to employ someone full time so we buy in the skills of someone from another NHS trust for a few hours a week.
“I’ve always worked in the public sector and I’ve no interest in working anywhere else. It’s in my bones. It’s hard to explain why I love my job, it’s a general feeling. You never get that dread of coming to work.
“The NHS is something that I genuinely feel very passionate about. It really matters to me that healthcare provision is free at the point of delivery and continues to be so.
“If someone asks you what you do for a living, the moment you mention the NHS you universally get a positive response – nobody ever reacts badly. And you get a little glow of satisfaction in saying where you work.
“But the most striking thing for me is that it’s the only place I’ve worked where everybody is fundamentally trying to make a difference. And as cheesy as it sounds, I joined because I thought it would be a job that would actually give something back!”