Richard Lloyd served a full career in the British Army after transitioning to civilian life took part in the Step into Health programme. After a work placement with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, he was successful in attaining a Business Manager role at Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust. Here, Richard shares his experiences of stepping into the NHS.
I served in the Army for 28 years, joining as a private soldier, being promoted through the ranks before being commissioned as an Officer. My final post, as a Major, was as Senior Instructor Command and Leadership.
I left the Army in 2012 and moved to the Lake District in Cumbria to set up a small family business, which I’m pleased to say was successful and profitable. However, after four years I was missing being part of a large service team and didn’t feel I was making full use of the qualifications and experience I had acquired during my military career.
I saw Step into Health advertised on the Officers Association website and joined an online webinar to find out more about the programme. From the very beginning I knew that I wanted to get involved so I attended an information day at my closest site, which was Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. This was a hugely positive and worthwhile day, and I left feeling that the NHS truly was my opportunity to fulfil a worthwhile second career.
As a result of attending the insight day, a two-week work placement was organised at Northumbria in April 2016. This allowed me to experience first-hand the work of NHS managers and explore how the trust delivered its services to patients. The hospitality, support and assistance I received was fantastic. Attitudes towards the military were great and I came away convinced that a career in the NHS was something I wanted to pursue. I was then advised to register with NHS Jobs and look for positions to apply for.
In July 2016, I applied for the post of Business Manager with Cumbria Partnership NHS Trust. Senior Managers from Northumbria supported with advice for the recruitment process and interview. Two hours after the interview I was offered the post and my NHS career began.
My role is diverse and demanding and is mostly concerned around business plans, performance, contracts and efficiencies where I find myself involved in a wide range of projects.
My experience, ability to analyse, prioritise, formulate plans and communicate effectively are core to my role. It is healthy for any organisation to welcome in new blood and fresh eyes and my ability to constructively question issues or propose improvements is accepted well.
I am extremely happy with my move to the NHS and my family has benefitted from the stability and career potential that it offers. I hope that my impact has been a positive one and I do feel valued and respected within my team. Although I am only 12 months into my new career, I very much hope to move onto new challenges and roles within the NHS in the near future.
The NHS offers the chance of a rewarding second career. They value the teamwork and selfless commitment that ex-forces personnel can bring and the chance for development, training, promotion is obvious and real.
To find out how your organisation can pledge to support Step into Health please visit our dedicated web pages.