Nicola Bamford, Head of Organisational Development – Merton and Wandsworth CCGs
“I’ve worked for the NHS since leaving school at 16 in 1981. I wanted to go straight into work and had the choice of two opportunities. One was working with motors and car parts and the other a trainee Dental Nurse in the NHS! Although I still have love for Formula 1, I chose to train as a Dental Nurse at Grimsby District General Hospital. And so it began.
“Over my 24 years as a nurse, my roles have been varied but linked directly or indirectly to improving patient health. Having worked within service development and improvement, I’ve also delivered some of those services myself, in the belief it offers patients that extra quality, personal touch and ultimately better health outcomes for them.
“As Head of Organisational Development, I now work to ensure the health and wellbeing of CCG staff, keeping them happy and healthy in the workplace, whilst improving things for them and the organisation.
“Having worked in the NHS for around 37 years, I’ve seen many changes and have observed many working styles, cultures and personalities. Over the years there have been good times and when I’ve thought ‘yes that was a great achievement’.
“There’s one achievement that stays with me. Whilst working as a Nurse Manager for a social enterprise that had created a specialist GP practice, I had the privilege of delivering services to hard-to-reach groups. They included the homeless, ex-offenders, sex workers, people with learning difficulties, and drug addicts. Along with the team, I developed an outreach service that visited female patients in their place of choosing. It offered health screenings including smear testing, and flu and pneumonia vaccinations, often in challenging environments. As a result, the women started to trust health professionals and access services that they had not identified as a priority before.”