Work Shadowing the National Clinical Director

Young Scot worked with Save a Life for Scotland earlier this year on a digital campaign to encourage more young people to say "I'll do it" and save a life through CPR. One of the opportunities through Young Scot Rewardwas to work shadow Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director. Holly, 16, from Edinburgh and Paul, 16 from South Lanarkshire were the successful applicants. Holly shares her experience with us... 

On Wednesday 13th September I had the fantastic opportunity to work shadow Jason Leitch, National Clinical Director of Healthcare Quality and Strategy. 

I travelled to St Andrews House by bus, in the morning rush hour, along with many other Edinburgh commuters.  There I met up with Zoe from the Young Scot Rewards team and Paul, another Rewards user who had come from Glasgow. We were introduced to Jason who talked to us about what he does and explained what we would be doing for the day. 

The first meeting we went to was the Ministerial Strategic Group for Health and Social Care. There were a lot of very senior politicians there and Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport, was chairing the meeting.   Much of the discussion was about the integration of local authorities and the NHS in order to provide better healthcare. We looked at some statistics to see how much of an impact integration was having but the conclusion was that more time and data were needed in order to tell what was going on. 

I was surprised to see that it wasn’t all clinicians that were at the meeting and making decisions about the NHS.  People were from quite varied backgrounds.   I was also interested in the fact that any changes took such a long time to come into effect. 

We then travelled to the Scottish Health Service Centre over near the Western General Hospital to attend the NHS Chief Executives Business meeting.  The main focus of the discussion was on how to maintain quality and consistency in healthcare integration.  

Because I am interested in a career in medicine the experience I got from the day was incredibly helpful.  I learnt how the NHS is such a huge organisation and there are a lot more people involved in getting it to run smoothly than just doctors and nurses.  It also made me realise how important work on planning for the future and aiming for improvement is and that clinicians need to be involved in this work as well as the day to day caring for patients. 

I got the opportunity to meet Catherine Calderwood, the Chief Medical Officer, and I talked to her about some of the different volunteering opportunities in hospitals that young people can do. 

I am extremely grateful to the Young Scot Rewards team and to Jason Leitch for giving me this opportunity.  It has given me a great insight into how the NHS is run and the different variety of work that clinicians can get involved in.