In our second GMTS guest blogs, Katie Jones looks back on the first few months of her first placement.

Katie is part of the GMTS 2018 intake, specialising in General Management and is now working on her first placement at Macclesfield District General Hospital:

Hi I’m Katie and I started the General Management scheme in September 2018 so I’m now a few months into my first placement at Macclesfield District General Hospital which is run by East Cheshire NHS Trust. I am the service manager for paediatrics which so far has been immensely interesting and a massive learning curve.

I found out about the scheme in about November 2017 and knew straight away I wanted to apply. Following some post-university travels I was working for a company that was commissioned by the NHS and really enjoyed speaking to patients and being a part of their care journey and experience. I was in awe of those already working in the NHS, and knowing I wanted to do something where I felt like I could make a difference, I became extremely motivated to join in any way I could. I hadn’t taken too much interest into Graduate schemes prior to leaving university unlike many of my peers as I knew I didn’t want to join a corporate company and work hard in order to line someone else’s pocket. Finding the NHS Graduate scheme gave me that incredible opportunity to join such a pivotal organisation where I could work with a different motive centred on helping people and delivering the best patient care.

The scheme begins with a four week orientation process which is a bit like a whistle-stop tour of everything healthcare; from primary care to tertiary centres, social care, local council, ambulance services and beyond. In one week I found myself in the passenger seat of an ambulance driving to an emergency, dressed up in scrubs observing general surgery, on the neonatal ward watching over a 4 hour old premature baby in an incubator, visiting patients in their homes with a district nurse and helping porters transport patients, notes and much more around the Trust.

These opportunities gave me great insight into how all of these services interlink and interact with one another to ensure that the patient receives an excellent standard of care. Every single person that I met along the way - despite being from all different teams and services, from finance managers to ward nurses to the housekeepers- is motivated towards achieving that common goal. Each person has different priorities, different goals and targets, different backgrounds and different perspectives in what is most important to them. Each person has to balance patient care, targets, safety, quality, performance and financial obligations, but when it comes down to it, all of those staff members are there because of the patient and are motivated to positively contribute their care.

It was such a unique experience to have an ‘access all areas’ pass to the hospital and beyond for those four weeks. And actually I have come to see the whole scheme as just that; the learning and shadowing and observing hasn’t stopped just because my official orientation period has ended. I can honestly say, without sounding too cliché, that I am learning something new every day. Whether that is about the service or the Trust, about processes and systems, or about myself, my leadership qualities and abilities. I have abundant chances to grow and I have a number of things lined up over the coming months to gain experience where I want to gain it. That is one of the major plus sides to the scheme: that it is about you. And you can shape the experience you have. You can shape what you learn and how you learn it, how you grow and what type of leader you become. The scheme is certainly a fast track scheme and having responsibilities in such early stages of my career is awesome albeit daunting; but I am a strong believer that it is when you are outside of your comfort zone that you learn the most.

It is a privilege to be on the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme and I feel incredibly lucky to have the next two years to develop as a leader with great support around me and endless opportunities for learning.


Host a trainee 

Support the expanding talent pipeline in the North West with the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme (GMTS).

In 2019, GMTS is expanding from an intake of 200 to 500 nationally. For the North West this equates to 75 trainees within the 2019 intake, which creates increased opportunities for organisations in the North West to benefit from hosting a trainee.

Find out more about the stages involved to host a trainee, and the latest information on the assurance process to offer a placement for trainees can be found here.

The first stage requires completion by 15th March 2019.


Find out more about hosting a trainee, providing a flexi-placement for trainees or joining the scheme as a graduate.


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