Job title: Director of human resources
Organisation: Leeds Community and Mental Health Services Teaching NHS Trust
What are your key responsibilities?
Organisational development, workforce planning, training and development, education and communication.
Previous jobs? (both HR and non-HR)
I have worked my way up through the NHS at a number of hospitals. I went straight from school to a job in the NHS.
Why did you choose to work for the NHS?
It was the service ethic. I never wanted to work elsewhere.
What has been the biggest HR challenge of your career?
Until now, my previous role as deputy director of HR at Hull and East Yorkshire. I managed the HR issues related to the merger of the two hospitals.
What attracted you to a career in HR?
There was a strike on my first day at work in a general office. I was called a black leg by a NUPE official. I was right in the middle of an interesting HR situation. I was also told that we all get two weeks sick.
What key skills do you need to be successful in your current role?
Communication skills are essential, as is organisational development. A sense of humour is important, and the ability to think positively.
What do you enjoy most about your current job?
Its the overall challenge. Most days I enjoy it.
What do you enjoy least?
I had to split up my department when we set up the new primary care trust.
What is the most important contribution that HR can make to a business or organisation?
Culture change, certainly in the NHS.
If you werent working for the NHS, which company would you most like to work for?
I really dont know but it would have to be in a service industry.
Which senior manager or business person, outside the NHS, do you admire most?
Pat Oakley an organisational development specialist. She runs a business called Practice Makes Perfect. Shes very knowledgeable and able to make complicated theories comprehensible.
What measure(s) do you use to test whether you are doing a good job?
Its the employee relations climate, but also the number of disciplinaries, attendance and so on.