To launch our new five minutes with ... series, Nick Chapman from NHS Direct explains what keeps him awake at night
Why did you want to work in healthcare?
I thought it was a job where I could make a difference to something that mattered.
How do you want to see the sector change in the next five years?
More focused on its patients and less on provider interests. Also, more use of the phone and the web to improve quality for patients and productivity, like any other normal industry sector.
What has been your proudest achievement at work?
Driving the changes that mostly got rid of waits for care over 18 weeks in the NHS in England, which existed prior to 2008. Also, leading NHS Direct through the swine flu pandemic in my first six months as chief executive.
What is the most difficult thing you've had to deal with at work?
People outside my organisation who are cynical. Powerful but unaccountable.
Finish these sentences:
I think the health bill is ... going to be all right in the end, and if it's not all right, it's not the end.
The people I work with are ... great. Honest, fearless, and with the necessary staying power.
I do what I do because ... what the NHS does helps make this country a more civilised place to live.
Sometimes people think that I ... am a dog with a bone and need to calm down.
Right now I want to ... help make changes to the NHS 111 programme so patients get a great service and it helps the NHS handle increasing demand.
At work I am always learning that ... I need to take more notice of other people's great ideas.
If I could go back 10 years and meet my former self I'd tell them ... to act as if anything can be changed if you try hard enough.
What is the best part of your job?
Spending time with staff and hearing their fresh perspective.
What is the worst part of your job?
Watching when we get it wrong – it can happen to any organisation – but we always learn from it and we are a better for it.
What makes you smile?
The view from the top of Corton Denham beacon and a pint in the Digby Tap on a Friday night.
What keeps you awake at night?
Almost anything can, but nothing that still worries me in the morning.
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Read the complete post at http://www.guardian.co.uk/healthcare-network/2012/mar/08/five-minutes-with-nick-chapman
Mar 08 2012, 04:53 AM
Healthcare Network | guardian.co.uk