I am currently 3 weeks into my flexi-placement and really enjoying getting a feel for the differences (but also the similarities) a placement outside of the NHS has to offer. I am working with Greater Manchester Combined Authority within the information sharing team, who do some really important work on school readiness, homelessness and troubled families to name a few. The information sharing team is key to this as they aim to support the Greater Manchester Public Service reform agenda in facilitating seamless collaboration of organisations and partners, facilitating complex sharing arrangements at pace and a standard, streamlined and simplified approach across all GM Partners to sharing. As someone who is proud to be from Manchester, I feel privileged to be working with a huge range of people across GM, including local authorities, housing, police, fire and charities, who are all part of making Manchester one of the best places in the world.
I am currently managing a project that aims to increase the use of the Information Sharing Gateway, an online tool which offers a secure solution to capturing and managing sharing agreements. It also captures each organisations IG assurance so organisations can be reassured that their data is being shared safely and in line with IG regulations. Before starting at GMCA I had little knowledge about information governance, but now I feel I have a good understanding and I’m really looking forward to the IG module I have picked to study at UCL next year. I attended an event earlier this week that looked at the public’s attitude to data sharing, and it was interesting to see how different organisations were trusted more than others. The NHS came out on top, with over 70% of people saying they trusted us with their data and local government coming bottom, with less than 50% of people feeling the same way.
Alongside all of this IG knowledge, I’m also getting 2 months of project management experience whilst I’m here. This, alongside a years’ experience as a business analyst and 10 months experience as a data analyst (in my next placement with NWAS), is going to give me great range of skills and experience. This will allow me to decide what I do and don’t like, and will put me in a great position for finding the perfect role once my time on the scheme comes to a close (which I’m certainly not ready for yet!).