Emma Rossiter, Division B Finance Manager

Navigating the NHS: A Finance Professional's Journey


In a recent conversation with Emma, a seasoned finance professional at UHS, we delved into her career journey, exploring the twists and turns that led her to her current role. Emma's story is not just a chronicle of her professional growth but also a testament to the unique blend of skills and experiences that the NHS offers its employees.

From humble beginnings as bank staff to now serving as the Division B Finance Manager, Emma's journey sheds light on the dynamic nature of roles within the NHS and the opportunities for growth and development. Exploring her experiences, challenges, and pivotal moments, Emma shares insights into the dynamic nature of her roles, the intersection of finance and IT, and the collaborative spirit that defines her tenure at the Trust. 

Bank Staff Beginnings and returning to UHS: 

Emma's journey began as bank staff, where she provided ad hoc support to the finance department before and during university. Her connection to UHS started with familial ties, as her mother had worked at the hospital. Over time, Emma's perception of the hospital environment transformed, leading her back to UHS even after a brief stint at a different trust. 

Initially viewing the role as just a job, Emma's perspective shifted after university. She found satisfaction in contributing to the NHS, realising the importance of a connection to a cause beyond a typical corporate setting. "I think initially it was just a job. But after university, you start to think about what's important to you. I've always felt passionate about the NHS. I'd struggle to work anywhere that's an ordinary company. It's great feeling connected and helping services that benefit patients. That's been important to me over the years." 

Emma's return to UHS not only reflects her professional growth but also shows the significance of personal connections and a sense of purpose in the healthcare sector. Her journey back to UHS signifies a commitment to contributing meaningfully to healthcare services. 

Diversity in Roles- Career Evolution: IT to Finance  

Starting her journey in income management, she honed her technical skills, "I got very good at Excel, Macros and that kind of thing," she remarked, showcasing her technical prowess. Then later transitioning into a data analysis role in IT further fortified her analytical skills, delving into techy aspects like SQL. 

Throughout her time in IT she, started to engage in digital projects within IT which became a pivotal moment, providing exposure to various services and people. Emma's enthusiasm for projects paved the way for her return to finance, where she contributed to business cases and simultaneously commenced her accountancy studies. 

Transition to Accountancy:  

Undeterred by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Emma embraced the lockdown period as an opportunity to focus on her exams. "I could get my head down with no other distractions," she remarked. Emma's determination and diligence resulted in her qualifying within an impressive 2 1/2 years. 

Throughout this demanding period, Emma acknowledged the crucial support she received from the trust. They funded most of her training, covering all exam expenses, and even provided her with dedicated time off for studying and taking exams. Emma expressed her gratitude for the trust's unwavering support, which played a pivotal role in her successful qualification journey. 

With her newfound qualification, doors swung open for Emma, leading her to serve as the finance manager for the pathology and imaging networks and today, holds the role of Division B Finance Manager.

Emma's journey not only highlights her personal dedication but also shows the importance of organisational support in fostering professional development. Her story speaks to the resilience and adaptability required in the face of unexpected challenges, emphasising that with determination, combined with robust support, one can overcome obstacles and thrive in their career.

Collaboration across Teams: 

Collaboration between finance and other departments stands as a cornerstone of success. Emma, acknowledging the pivotal role played by exceptional teams at UHS, highlights the importance of accessible communication channels such as emails and in-person visits in fostering seamless communication. 

Reflecting on her journey, Emma shows the significance of collaboration in expanding her knowledge base. Her diverse roles, spanning income management and IT, afforded her opportunities to shadow various medical teams during digital projects. Emma notes, "All that knowledge builds up. You know a bit more, I don't know everyone's job role, but you know quite a few different teams and how they work, which is all useful for the financial picture." 

Despite recognising the complexity of financial data, Emma emphasises the need to make it relatable for other departments and roles to effectively utilise the information provided. To address this challenge, UHS recently implemented a Business Intelligence (BI) dashboard, offering a user-friendly interface to empower individuals in navigating and comprehending financial information more effectively. This initiative aims to bridge the gap and enhance collaboration, ensuring that financial insights are accessible and actionable across diverse teams within the organisation. 

Fast-Paced Environment:  

Thriving in the fast-paced NHS work environment requires strategic planning, as shared by Emma. She emphasises the importance of "regular catchups, discussions about workloads, and strategic prioritisation" as crucial elements for maintaining effectiveness, especially during critical periods like month-end cycles. Emma also appreciates the collaborative efforts and alignment with clinical teams, ensuring seamless support in the face of the rapid pace. 

Expressing gratitude for her exceptional team, Emma highlights the fortune of working with brilliant individuals. This, she notes, not only enables effective service delivery but also enhances problem-solving capabilities within the team. 

Growth as a Finance Manager and Mentoring the Future: 

Transitioning to her role as a finance manager, Emma provides valuable insights into supporting the growth and development of her team members and the emphasis on encouraging on-the-job experience and exposure to higher-level responsibilities, with a specific focus on cultivating practical skills, quoting "We’re trying to support them on the job, doing different roles, enabling them to get experience at a slightly higher level so that if roles come available within the finance team, they're able to grow. Finance training is something we always are keen to support. But a lot of it is on the job and building those skills." 

Whilst drawing from her journey, Emma accentuates the value of diverse experiences and the supportive network within the hospital that has played a pivotal role in her professional development and encourages and enables her staff to build these networks, stating “Once you have that network to draw upon, it's so valuable.” 

Mentorship is a cornerstone at UHS, and Emma emphasises its impact: "I've been a mentor for a few people in finance." Key elements include regular interactions, dedicated problem-solving time, and shared experiences. This commitment extends to guiding a student and mentoring apprentices at UHS. Emma stresses the importance of dedicated time for discussions, checking progress, and offering support. Her philosophy aligns with the power of networks, utilising UHS's extensive connections for mutual benefit. 

In essence, Emma's mentorship approach at UHS is a collaborative journey, where seasoned professionals nurture growth. Her sentiment, "It's a useful thing," resonates, fostering an environment where knowledge is shared, experiences are exchanged, and support is found on professional journeys. 

Reflecting on 15 years and Conclusion: 

In conclusion, Emma's trajectory at UHS stands as a testament to the diverse and dynamic roles within the NHS. Transitioning from bank staff to the role of Finance Manager, her narrative highlights the essential fusion of technical expertise and interpersonal skills crucial in the healthcare sector.

As Emma reflects on her 15-year journey at UHS, her experiences become a wellspring of inspiration for aspiring professionals, emphasising the wealth of opportunities, continuous professional growth, and the collaborative ethos that define a fulfilling career within the NHS. 

Offering valuable advice for those contemplating a career move to UHS, Emma passionately advocates, "I definitely encourage them! I think there are loads of opportunities because it's such a big hospital. It's so varied. Whatever area you're interested in or realise suits you better, there's always somewhere you can fit. I've done quite a few different roles, and you work out which areas appeal to you most. It's such a collaborative and supportive place to work. I'd definitely encourage people to consider working here." 

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