Management Training Scheme (MTS)

Graduate trainees

Trainee: Katherine Turnbull

TYPE: General Management


Education: BSc Biomedical Science (The University of Edinburgh), MSc Global Health (The University of Glasgow)

Current Role: Primary Care Support and Quality Improvement Officer (Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health and Social Care Partnership)

Previous Roles and Organisations: Sales Development (Pepsico), Refugee and Asylum Service Volunteer (British Red Cross), Marketing Internship (Glasgow Care Foundation), Customer Service (EdTheatres), Biology Tutor (Self Employed).

Why do you think you were successful in completing the scheme: I a bit of enthusiasm goes a long way, and I had recently completed my masters in Global Health, where I had been able to explore all the issues academically that I am involved in on a daily basis. I was clearly passionate about working in this field, and tried my best to map my previous roles to essential skills that I would need throughout the scheme.

Top bit of advice you’d give an applicant or a new trainee:  Try to do as much research as possible, as it will show if you have gone out of your way to learn about NHS values, and about the scheme itself. I think this job really suits someone who is personable and has a bit of confidence in approaching new situations, so if that is you, try to let that come across during the recruitment process!

Before the Management Training Scheme: After finishing my undergraduate degree I wasn’t really sure exactly what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to work in this field but I wasn’t sure how or where to break in to it. I took some time off and travelled for 8 months and also worked as a sales and marketing development representative for a global drinks brand for another 8 months. While this was not what I wanted to do for a living, it provided me with really useful skills in business and gave me a lot of confidence in the workplace. However, to get back to what I wanted to do I applied and completed a Masters in Global Health. During this time I also took the opportunity to complete internships and to volunteer with a worthwhile organisation. While I wasn’t initially sure if management specifically was what I wanted to do, I realised all of the opportunities that this scheme provides are brilliant for setting you up with a career in healthcare.

During the Management Training Scheme: Despite only being in my first placement, I feel I have learned a lot not only about the NHS and about management, but also about myself. The scheme encourages you to use a lot of self-reflection and gives you the time and resources to be able to this well.

Induction: I completed a 10 week induction, which was full of interesting and varied activities. Following a 1 week induction with NHS National Education Services, we all went our separate ways to our allocated health boards. My board was fantastic and provided me with a fully scheduled induction to different services across the organisation. This ranged from visiting the regional laundry facilities, to shadowing corporate board meetings, or visiting the specialist services for the board (e.g. Sexual Health, Addictions, Homeless & Asylum, and Children’s Services). One particular highlight was getting the opportunity to spend a day at the 2 prisons within the area. This was not just terrifying (!), but also extremely interesting, as no matter where the setting is, you are still able to clearly see the NHS values and morale being upheld. Getting such an in-depth induction to the NHS puts you in a good position, as very few people are able to experience everything the NHS does or are able to get such a thorough overview.

Placement 1: My placement co-ordinator was keen for me to work within the different sectors of the NHS, spending time not only in acute but also in primary and community care. My first placement is split across two Health and Social Care Partnerships (HSCP) within the board, which is both challenging but gives me opportunities to compare and contrast. During the scheme you are allowed to continue with your wider learning, so I do continue to shadow different opportunities if they are of interest or are something I know little about. My role primarily consists of quality improvement projects that affect primary care and are mostly focused on GP’s and the local clusters they sit in. I can be doing anything from analysing data, to drafting proposals for a service redesign. The job is incredibly varied, so would suit someone who likes new challenges.

After the Management Training Scheme: I hope to use the experience I will gain in all 4 of my placements to find my niche and continue to progress within such a rewarding organisation! Alongside the scheme I am undertaking an MBA in Health Management, and I hope that this broadens my understanding of how the health service is run and gives me further opportunity to progress.