Trainee Profiles

Kerrie Mc Garvey - MTS 2010

Kerrie Mc Garvey

Academic History: BSc (Hons) Forensic Science, BSc (Hons) Applied Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University

Work experience: Forensic Scientist, Forensic Science Agency Northern Ireland (Nov 2008 – Aug 2010);

Personal Assistant/Office Manager, Northern Ireland Assembly (Aug 2008 – Nov 2008);

Student Warden, Liverpool John Moores University (Sept 07 – May 08 / Sept 06 – June 07);

Personal Assistant, Western Health and Social Care Trust (July 07 – Aug 07 / July 06 – Aug 06);

Clerical Officer, Western Health and Social Care Trust (June 05 – Aug 05 / April 04 – Aug 04 / June 03 – Aug 03 / July 02 – Aug 02)

Professional interests/relevant achievements: I was the author of a dissertation entitled ‘Empathy, Knowledge and Experience as Factors Influencing Society’s Attitudes towards the Resettlement of People Suffering from Mental Ill Health’ as part of a BSc (Hons) in Applied Psychology. The dissertation focused on the ‘Not in My Back Yard’ (N.I.M.B.Y.) theory.

What you bring to the scheme: I am trustworthy, conscientious, innovative and ambitious. I am a team player, will support and encourage my colleagues, and strive to develop dynamic professional relationships. I will apply all these qualities in every aspect of my work to ensure I become a valuable asset to the National Health Service.

What you hope to gain from scheme: I want to positively influence the work which the NHS undertakes and play an active role in the ongoing modernisation and transformation of the organisation in response to the client’s needs. The scheme offers a unique opportunity to become an important player in one of the largest employment sectors in Northern Ireland and in so doing continue my academic and professional development. By learning from the people who have shaped and continue to shape the NHS in Northern Ireland and applying my own skills and values, I intend to fulfil my aspirations for continuing career progression.

Where you are going to be working: During the Cooks Tour I will be located in the Western Health and Social Care Trust. My first placement will be in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

First Placement: I have had the fortune of being located in the Western Health and Social Care Trust where I have experienced a variety of placements over the past few weeks. I have spent the first half of my ‘Cooks Tour’ in the acute area of Secondary Care within Altnagelvin Area Hospital where I spent an overnight shift in the A & E Department. I have also visited Pharmacy, Laboratories, been chaperoned on Ward walkarounds, observed in Theatre, shown around HSDU and more recently introduced to the Planning and Service Improvement Directorate which incorporates Estates, Patient Kitchen, Laundry, Portering and Medical Engineering and Decontamination. I am only scratching the surface of the complexity of the Health and Social Care Services provided and I look forward to the challenges and experiences throughout the remainder of my placement.

Personal & Leisure interests/relevant achievements: I play an active part in my local community assisting in activities run by the Local Development Association. I have appeared and worked behind the scenes in Drama productions within my local psychiatric hospital. I was awarded an Outstanding Contribution award from the Mayor of Tucson (Arizona) for my work in a cross-community project to re-build soup kitchens for the homeless. I have a particular interest in dancing, and have completed several professional examinations in Irish Dancing. I also enjoy gymnastics and tennis.

Closing statement: I am committed to the ideals of an efficient, fair and comprehensive National Health Service. I am looking forward to bringing my own personality to the organisation, to respond to challenges and actively contribute to the overall betterment of the service. The opportunity to learn the core management skills and help make a real difference to people’s lives is one I intend to embrace with passion. I am naturally, a little nervous and daunted entering the next chapter of my career. However, I am equally as excited and fiercely determined to succeed. I hope that with the help of those I have the opportunity to work with and learn from, it will prove to be the best career decision I have made to date.


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Marc Neil - MTS 2010

Marc Neil

Academic History: 1st Class Honours – Masters in Chemical Engineering at Queens University Belfast

Work experience: Muskoka Woods Sports Resort (June 2007 – September 2009) -Leadership staff and CEO counsellor;

Almac Engineering (September 2008 – June 2009) - Student placement engineer;

City of Derry Golf Club (July 2005 – June 2007) - Clubhouse barman and waiter.

Professional interests/relevant achievements: City and Guild Licentiateship Award; Degree Plus at Queens University Belfast

What you bring to the scheme: I like to think I will bring a calm head, lots of enthusiasm, a really positive personality that always sees opportunity and not restrictions. I love people, I love talking to people, working with and helping people so I am very excited to get the chance to do this.

What you hope to gain from scheme: A few things, an insight into the working world of the health service, great friends, a greater ability to manage tough situations, opportunities to share my ideas with people, to have the chance to give presentations. I want to start to develop a fearless quality that I have the ability to handle any professional situation in a positive manner.

Where you are going to be working: My cooks tour has been within the Northern Trust, and in this tour I have spent time with members of staff at all levels throughout the organisation from portering staff right through to the chief executive and his team. It has been highly insightful to see how every member of staff within a trust is valuable to the smooth and efficient operations of the organisation. It has been really encouraging to see the great works going on in the trust to ensure the highest standards of patient care are achieved and to see how committed to quality care each staff person is.

For my first placement I am going to the South Eastern Trust to work within the children’s and planning directorates. This is a very exciting opportunity to work within two directorates and to work on a real life project in the area of service improvement of children’s services within the south east community. My first placement begins on the 13th December and runs for 9 months.

Personal & Leisure interests/relevant achievements: I love sport and church. I play rugby and cricket, and in the past also dabbled with a bit of football and golf. My favourite past time is skiing (though our climate normally doesn’t tend itself to my skiing needs). I am a youth leader at my local church and when I can I love hanging out with my youth group and doing stuff with them. I also enjoy some leisurely tennis, good coffee and watching good movies.

Closing statement: I am very excited to be starting my career with in health and social care. It is a fantastic opportunity and I cannot wait to get stuck in and really start to learn about how this massive organisation works. I look forward to not only meeting new colleagues, but also new friends and I am excited about the challenges that lie ahead.


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Linda Robinson - MTS 2009

Linda Robinson

Having graduated in 2009 from the University of Edinburgh with an MA (Hons) Social Policy, I was fortunate to join the Scheme that same year. The first placement dubbed the ‘Cooks Tour’ very much threw me into the midst of health and social care, and every day was different as I experienced the sheer diversity of services provided by acute, community and mental health teams. Shadowing everyone from a podiatrist to a social worker I developed an understanding of the complexity of the system, realising how everyone played a vital role in patient care and safety. This period of the Scheme was truly invaluable as I gained insight into the world of policy-makers, executive managers and clinicians, whilst identifying the challenges they faced.

My second placement was with the South Eastern Trust and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Based in the Surgery Directorate I was part of a service improvement project focusing on theatre utilisation, whilst involved with elective care reform, and coordination of the Directorate’s move to the new Critical Care Complex. I also had the opportunity to prepare business cases, present data analysis to inform decision-making and even recruit new staff. I learnt a lot very quickly and was well-supported by my line manager, my Scheme ‘buddy’ Roni McMillan, my mentor Seamus McGoran (Director of Hospital Services, SET) and the network of trainees past and present.

Currently I am undergoing my elective placement with The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in New England. It is a fantastic opportunity to experience innovation and improvement from outside the health service and bring all the great ideas back. During my time here I am training to become a Clinical Microsystems coach; studying improvement science; conducting research in institutions that are advancing patient safety and enhancing care through the development of capacity within frontline teams; and developing a robust evaluation tool for the continuing education programmes run here.

I return to the Belfast Trust for my final placement in January and look forward to the next challenge.


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Neil Martin - MTS 2006

Neil Martin

I graduated from Queen's University Belfast in 1996 with a degree in Biblical Studies and Greek, and spent the next seven years living and working in the French Alps. I returned to Belfast in 2003 and took up a job with the British Council, managing a student work placement programme, before joining the MTS Graduate Scheme in 2006.

Following my Cook's Tour in the Craigavon and Banbridge area my first placement was in primary and community care in the South-Eastern Trust, where I worked on a number of projects related to older people's services. I went to the West Midlands for a three-month elective placement, helping a group of GP practices to formalise their commissioning structures, and then took up a final placement in the Belfast Trust, managing service review projects in unscheduled care, general medicine and general surgery. Following the scheme I remained in the Belfast Trust for a further two years, and have recently been appointed as Project Manager for Acute Service Reform in the Northern Trust.

Overall I found my time on the scheme extremely rewarding. It was a unique way of gaining a broad range of experience and insight - in different services, Trusts and even countries - in a very short space of time. The educational component and on-the-job learning helped me develop skills and knowledge that have been invaluable since. I became more confident, resilient and resourceful through facing innumerable challenges and negotiating some very steep learning curves. I would thoroughly recommend MTS to any graduate looking for a career with challenge and variety.


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