After a long career in the NHS as a Biomedical Scientist, Chloe Ashford-Smith moved to a health consultancy role with professional services firm KPMG. Here she explains how her new position allows her to collaborate with other experienced health professionals, working as a team to support the NHS and ‘speak the same language’ as their clients.
With a career spanning over two decades in the National Health Service and the majority of it as a biomedical scientist, I have had the privilege of witnessing remarkable advancements in healthcare. Twenty-five years ago, I went to Liverpool John Moore’s University to study Biomedical Sciences. My fascination with microbiology was sparked by a captivating BBC Horizon programme that delved into the world of bacteriophages, which led me to specialising in microbiology.
I completed my registration process, which for those who remember was the ‘blue book’, at Ysbyty Gwynedd in North Wales, the laboratory renowned for having the most beautiful view in the country.
I later moved to Nottingham and continued to progress as a microbiology biomedical scientist at the Queen’s Medical Centre. I worked there for about six years where I completed my MSc in Clinical Microbiology in the University of Nottingham. I moved to University Hospitals of Derby and Burton (UHDB) to progress my career as a team leader. This is where my career took an unexpected change of direction when I trained in the application of Lean methodology in a healthcare setting. The profound impact on individuals and their wellbeing inspired me to become a service improvement practitioner and coach. I proceeded to work at UHDB on a variety of small- and large-scale transformation programmes, which led to me becoming the programme manager for the Midlands and East 2 Pathology network to support the national pathology consolidation programme.
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