Sarah Diamond, Dermatology Operations Manager, tells us how she adapted perfectly to her role at DMC Healthcare, which connects her caring nature with her ardent planning qualities.
"The job is perfect for me as it requires empathy and great organisation."
“I always wanted to be a nurse or midwife”
My mum was a matron in a nursing home, where I used to help out and sit with patients, so I’ve always wanted to go into the caring field. However, I opted to move into the world of work rather than university at 18 and carried out a NVQ 3 in business administration.
“My first admin role was with a building materials company”
I liaised closely with Welsh Councils and after 2 years I moved to a credit card. After a year I applied for a workforce planning secondment, a position I held for 10 years. This was the start of my planning carer, monitoring adherence, developing the capacity plan, analysing demand spikes to maintain the correct number of staff on the rota. I took redundancy after I had my two children.
“I then moved to a healthcare company”
I then moved to a consulting, transformation and digital services business, initially on a short term contract in Chester which turned into an 8 year career. I worked in different contracts which continued my experience in resource and capacity planning, covering PPI contracts, pensions and medical records.
“I joined DMC in November 2020”
I was recommended by a friend and commenced my career at DMC as a workforce analyst, looking at capacity plans in the dermatology team, helping structure the clinics. I’d look at historical data and the referrals coming in and build a workforce plan so that RTT and our targets were being met. As I was looking in depth into the operational side of thing – I love to delve in and know how everything works – I could identify areas where our admin processes could be more efficient.
“The move to DMC was very different”
Living in North Wales, I didn’t have any experience of community services. Because I’d previously worked for a very large company with set structures and processes, I was pleasantly surprised by how DMC is very open to change and the leadership team listen and take your recommendations on board. It’s great not to have to go through a lot of hoops, as you have direct contact with the Board.
“It felt it was a natural progression to move into operational management”
After 9 months, I was promoted to operations manager and now manage a growing team of around 45 administrators and HCAs. We meet up quarterly to complete workshops and training sessions and have monthly meetings with the senior leadership team to cover governance and operational agendas.
“We are all really passionate about working with patients”
They are a fantastic, resilient team who just want to do their very best for their patients and the family-oriented culture really helps. We get so many compliments about how empathic our teams are.
“My work-life balance is excellent. I’ve got full flexibility”
We’ve had to adapt to a new way of working from home, with the support of the Board. I’ve got teenagers and it’s invaluable to know mum’s at home.
“I’m particularly proud of the role I’ve played in several key projects”
The introduction of digital dictation, streamlining previously lengthy admin processes and reviewing the histology process has helped to reduce waiting times. Some skin conditions are very debilitating. The skin is everything that you see and if I can get patients seen quicker and treated, that for me is the win.
“I’ve been in a management role for a year”
I want to carry on in this role and I feel there is so much more I can do. We have streamlined a lot of processes and are getting the right people on board at every level. We’re learning from our mistakes, so we are extremely prepared when new contracts come on board.
“I was given the opportunity – I wasn’t told to stay in my lane”
Coming from the planning world, none of us set out to be planners. Now I realise that within my friendship group, I organise our nights out and trips away. The senior team actively encouraged me to look at the operational side.
“My advice is to embrace the opportunity with both hands”
I put my hands up and went for the secondments and roles that came along. I did consider going to university as a mature student but I didn’t want to take time away from my children. I know I can help people in this role. I know I can get patients into clinics and get them seen.
“Working at DMC is challenging at times but really rewarding”
There is a lot of work that goes into putting on dermatology clinics and getting the jigsaw to fit together but when it does and you know patients have been seen, it makes all the hard work worth it.