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From ward clerk to deputy divisional manager – a career in the NHS provides endless opportunities

Lucy Gladman is deputy divisional manager of surgery

Choosing a career path can be tough because not everybody knows what job they want to do. Through experience, people learn their biggest strengths which can lead to the perfect role.

Lucy Gladman is Deputy Divisional Manager of our Surgery department, but her NHS adventure started very differently.

In 1995, Lucy was working as a travel agent and was unsure of her next career move. Knowing she was organised and had good administrative skills, she successfully applied to be a ward clerk at Queen Mary’s Hospital in Sidcup.

Lucy’s first day was on her 25th birthday and she had no idea it would be the start of a long and successful career in the NHS. She said: “I loved my time as a ward clerk, I learnt so much and it really opened my eyes to the different roles available. Ward clerks play a pivotal role to the running of a department and I loved being part of a team.

“I don’t have a clinical background so my way to support nurses is to do the non-clinical work, allowing them to concentrate on providing the best care for patients. This has been my ethos since starting my first role in the NHS.”

Lucy then held a variety of roles at Queen Mary’s and the Royal Marsden hospitals, before joining our Trust in 2009 as General Manager for Oncology. During this time, Lucy studied for six years through the Open University before achieving a Masters of Business Administration (MBA).

Lucy said: “I never thought my career would develop as it has. I left school with one O-level and five CSEs but since working for the NHS, I’ve been a surgical secretary, cancer data lead and manager of haematology, paediatrics and bone marrow transplant. I’ve taken advantage of the opportunities to upskill and have always wanted to learn.”

If you’re considering a career in the NHS, we have a fantastic development opportunity available as we’re currently recruiting 50 new ward clerks. While learning how hospitals run, you’ll admit patients, prepare notes, book appointments and speak with patients’ families.

Speaking about the roles, Lucy said: “If you live in Barking and Dagenham, Havering or Redbridge, I would absolutely recommend applying to be a ward clerk. It’s a rewarding role where you make a genuine difference to patients and colleagues. It’s also a great chance to learn and consider other potential career opportunities in the NHS.

“I’ve worked with colleagues who have stayed in their role as a successful ward clerk, but have also worked with others who have moved into management or clinical support roles.”

Successful candidates will be employed as apprentices on a 17-month fixed term contract, and on completion of this period, will move into a band three ward clerk role.

Visit our website for more details and to apply.

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