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Finance trainee Lucy Matthews graduated from GMTS in 2021 and found the experience extremely rewarding.

At the start of the scheme Lucy was excited, although a little nervous. Lucy completed a physics degree before starting the scheme, so many of the finance elements were brand new.

One of Lucy's highlights looking back at GMTS is how she has grown as a person, developing leadership skills and learning how finance departments play a vital role in patient outcomes.

Lucy said: "I think the breadth of experience that we get on the scheme is amazing, different experiential learning opportunities, action learning sets, and getting the opportunity to work with many different leaders and inspirational people."

GMTS trainees complete an orientation period before starting their first placement which often includes exposure to senior meetings, shadowing staff in different departments and meeting teams across the host organisation.

"The orientation gave me a really good grounding and almost a new-found appreciation for the NHS. I’ve always felt that the NHS is an amazing organisation, that’s why I wanted to work for it, however  the orientation gave me an even greater  appreciation for all that goes on behind the scenes.

"My first placement was with in an acute trust in financial services, this gave me a really good grounding into NHS finance, I was able to gain an understanding how hospitals work. I was given a clinical buddy, she would take me on walk rounds every few months, so I could see different areas of the hospital and explain things to me.

"I completed my two-month flexi-placement at a large consulting organisation in Healthcare Consulting which allowed me to develop skills different to what I had done in my first placement, such as programme management and business case writing. It allowed me to view the NHS from a different perspective and felt it was a unique experience,  one I really valued.

"My second placement was at a community and mental health trust in management accounts, so a completely different type of placement, but I really found my feet in this placement."

The scheme can be very demanding, especially in the finance specialism and this provided Lucy with lots of challenges.

"I think studying to become a a chartered accountant, completing competencies, working full-time - juggling all that is hard work, but it does pay off in the end.

"The support is great - programme and placement managers and the trainee support manager Kelly helped me throughout. I could talk through things, they were really good at giving advice and helped me find my own answers, so I became more independent. The support you get on the scheme is brilliant."

Lucy also recommended support communities across the NHS, including Future-Focused Finance, a national programme to support staff and engage everyone in improving NHS finance. The programme facilitates networking, sharing ideas and learning, bringing finance and clinical or other non-finance colleagues together.

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

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