Career Story:
Developing at Bupa

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

When I was at school I wanted to be a doctor, but I suspect that was because I watched too much ER. It did however spur an interest in healthcare, which moved to population level healthcare where broader change can impact a larger group of people. I worked in a HIV/AIDs hospice in South Africa which really shed light on health inequalities and how small changes can make such a difference for the patient.

Tell us about your current role at the Cromwell.

I work in the Commercial Development team, working towards our clinical strategy and hospital priorities. What this means in reality is working on projects that deliver on our commercial growth and delivering a great patient experience. It’s a varied and interesting role where I get to work with departments throughout the hospital, the Bupa businesses and the wider healthcare sector. I feel very lucky have such a diverse job!

How long have you been with Bupa, and can you tell us a bit about your previous roles?

I’ve been at Bupa for nearly 9 years, starting in 2013. My first role was in the insurance business where I did a variety of change management roles looking at how much insurance pay consultants as well as care pathways. I then moved in to the Clinics business working on MSK products as well as looking at the growth of Basinghall Clinic. When I moved to Cromwell Hospital I took the Basinghall Clinic project with me and also created what is now the Medical Secretary team. I’ve been at Cromwell for almost 4 years now and have loved it!

What transferable skills do you think you’ve brought from your previous roles to your current one?

Adaptability is key. The nature of my current and previous roles working with a variety of stakeholders is that you have to put yourself in their shoes, understanding their needs and objectives. The needs of the marketing team will be very different from the needs of a clinical team, so it’s important to ensure that whatever you’re working on works well for all. Whilst that can bring about a number of challenges and slow projects down, it makes all the difference in the long run.

Why did you want to develop your career at Bupa rather than look elsewhere?

Bupa offered me the ability to move between the businesses allowing the exposure to both the payor and provider side of private healthcare in the UK, which makes Bupa incredibly unique in the market. I was able to maintain my Bupa network when moving in to a new role, which I have always highly valued, sometimes it’s who you know over what you know that gets a job done! Something that has also kept me at Bupa is the people, I have always enjoyed working with colleagues across Bupa, many of whom I’ve learnt a lot from and long may that continue! Along the way I’ve had managers that have pushed me outside my comfort zone and as a result I’ve felt challenged yet empowered.

What skills have you learnt from your current role?

Teamwork is absolutely key in my role, if you don’t have people that you can work with effectively and bring those people along with you, you’ll never get anything done! I’ve also learnt humility which is not something that’s talked about too much in the work environment. I’m surrounded by experts in their fields and it’s important to recognise and admit that you might not know all the answers. Asking questions is so important, as is asking for help, there is no shame in that.

What is the workplace culture like?

I think in general Bupa has a good workplace culture. I’ve been lucky in that the culture I’ve experienced has been strong; I’ve worked with great colleagues who have similar beliefs and values as well as having a genuine desire to do the right thing for the patient or customer. I’ve also valued Bupa’s diverse workforce that brings people together from all backgrounds and walks of life; I truly believe that diversity creates a stronger understanding and appreciation of one another.

What have been your highlights so far? 

I was very lucky to go on the LAB (learning at Bupa) programme a few years ago where I worked on projects with colleagues from the Bupa World, which ended up in a project trip to India. It was a hugely invaluable experience and I learnt so much from colleagues from Australia, the US, Poland, China and of course the UK.

I was also proud to roll out the breast and bowel direct access service whilst working in UKI, the first of it’s kind in the market in which customers didn’t need to see their GP if they had symptoms of breast or bowel cancer.

My other proud moment whilst being at Cromwell Hospital is seeing how much Basinghall Clinic has changed since we took it on in January 2019. Going from a Bupa Health Centre to an outpatient clinic with new services for workers in the City, as well as a whole new look and feel makes me feel very chuffed.

Looking to the future, is there anything you’re yet to achieve that you’d like to? Or any further skills you’d like to develop?

I’d like to build my financial knowledge to better understand the inner workings of Cromwell and Bupa as a whole, and how specific decisions are made. Aside from that, I think that Bupa has an exciting future so I think there is plenty of opportunity to achieve things that we don’t even know exists yet!

What advice would you give a school leaver thinking about working for Bupa?

 I would seriously consider an opportunity at Bupa. If you are passionate about healthcare and wanting to make change to people’s lives whilst working with some really interesting people then sign up! If you want to progress, then Bupa offers the ability to do so and I’ve seen many people take a plethora of career journeys through Bupa. The possibilities are endless!

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