Career development stories from staff

At GOSH we are committed to developing our talented teams, and encourage individuals to try new roles and learn new specialisms to continually develop their skill set. We asked some of our staff to share experiences of how their career has developed during their time at the Trust, and the support they received as part of this.

Stuart Adams, Lead Healthcare Scientist 

What roles and departments have you worked in during your career at GOSH? 

I arrived as a band 6 clinical scientist in haematology, with a mandate to develop new scientific clinical testing for bone marrow transplant and gene therapy patients at GOSH. I progressed to band 7 Clinical Scientist and established the novel testing as routine work in the labs, training and managing staff. I progressed to being Principal Clinical Scientist in a section of the Specialist Integrated Haematology and Molecular Diagnostic Service at GOSH, as well as being the Trust’s joint Lead Healthcare Scientist. I also have an academic role as Senior Honorary Lecturer with UCL. 

What motivated you to move roles? 

The urge to keep pushing scientific development forwards, to ensure we support the clinical teams and, more importantly, to ensure patients receive the best and most cutting-edge service available. I also like to be in control of driving positive changes. And I do like being a leader rather than being led! 

What support helped you to make this change? 

Good colleagues and supportive management. 

What do you value about progressing your career at GOSH? 

Seeing the constantly improving treatments available for patients. It is really important to see that scientific progress has clear tangible benefits for children at GOSH. 

 

Alison Taberner Stokes, Head of Nursing and Patient Experience 

What roles and departments have you worked in during your career at GOSH? 

I’ve worked in several departments around the hospital. I stared in PICU but have undertaken a total of six secondments within my 20 years at GOSH. I’ve been seconded into the community to help establish services there, to CATS, NICU, and to the role of matron within the PICU. I gained a lot from that secondment and was keen to develop my leadership and management skills further, so undertook another secondment to be the matron for Barrie and then as a lead nurse for Workforce. 

I then became Head of Nursing and Patient experience for Brain, a permanent role and one I love. 

What motivated you to move roles? 

I enjoy challenging myself, stepping out of my comfort zone and seeing things from another perspective. I’m always striving for excellence. 

What support helped you to make this change? 

I’ve always had good line managers who have supported my secondments. And my colleagues supported me and helped me to develop and realise the skill set I had developed. The people in the areas I was seconded into always recognised the prior knowledge and skills that I brought with me, which helped me develop further. 

What do you value about progressing your career at GOSH? 

There is always the opportunity to move around the Trust and try new experiences. Clinical expertise never ends; even if you’re an expert in one area this doesn’t mean you can’t move areas and become an expert with a whole new set of skills. 

 

Louise McGinley, Learning Operations Manager

What roles and departments have you worked in during your career at GOSH? 

I’ve worked in Surgery as PA to the Lead Nurse, General Managers and Clinical Unit Chair. I remained in Surgery and was up-banded to Senior Administrator, which included line management, ensuring coding accuracy and validation of procedures, as well as PA.  When a restructure took place, I worked for the Clinical Director of Operations and Director of Operations for JM Barrie Division, continuing to line manage staff. I then moved into a learning and development management role. 

What motivated you to move roles? 

I wanted to learn something new and develop my skills. I was attracted to the strategic work, which is less reactive, and the opportunity to use my experience to make improvements in a different team. 

What do you value about progressing your career at GOSH? 

When I came to Learning & Development it was a side-step rather than a progression, but with the view to learn something new.  I value being given opportunities to learn new things and work for different people. 

 

Jordan Benstead, E-Rostering and Safe Care Clinical Nurse Lead

What roles and departments have you worked in during your career at GOSH? 

I have always worked in the Blood, Cells & Cancer division. Ever since I graduated as a nurse in 2014 I have worked with children with cancer because I love the close relationships you build with the families. I am currently on secondment as E-Rostering & Safe Care Clinical Nurse Lead in the Workforce team. 

What motivated you to move roles? 

I love being a nurse however I have always found it hard to accept that once I qualified as a nurse and went into such a complex specialty then that would be “it” for my career. So I was interested in what other opportunities were out there. 

Also, after four and a half years I was feeling burnt out and it was taking its toll on my mental health. I sought support to help me manage my health and my manager was very supportive. 

When I saw a secondment in HR & OD, I felt it was the right time to try something different and that it would be a good stepping stone to grow and develop as a person. 

What do you value about progressing your career at GOSH? 

I’ve really appreciated the support I’ve had. I have never felt like I can’t ask a question or ask for help. I felt particularly supported by my previous manager who valued me and wanted me to stay at GOSH so helped me take a different career direction. 

Nothing is set in stone. Find opportunities, push boundaries and make that jump, otherwise you’ll never know what you can achieve! 

Ofran Al-Mossawi, Principal Pharmacist, Clinical Trials and Audit

What roles and departments have you worked in during your career at GOSH?

I work in the Pharmacy department as the Principal Pharmacist for clinical trials and audit. Meanwhile, I have always wanted to be involved in research and to carry out my own research. Although I manage the pharmacy aspect trials as my day to day job, carrying out my own research is not in my job description due to the demands of the job. One of the activities that I did in my own time was that I worked very hard to secure an NIHR fellowship to do a PhD.

What support has helped you?

Feedback has been a very valuable tool for my career development. It was also very helpful that my manager supported me and values staff pursuing new career development opportunities.

What do you value about progressing your career at GOSH?

At GOSH we are surrounded by opportunities at our doorstep and the links with ICH make these opportunities even greater. For example, attending useful and interesting seminars can take place during our lunch break, which is not possible at many other NHS institutions.