My NHS story - Rachel Stark

People have shared their wonderful memories of the NHS over the last 75 years to help celebrate the NHS's 75th Birthday

Rachel shares their NHS memories

Rachel talks about her job as a practice manager.


When did you start?
April 1996 - as a short end of year temporary job in the Easter holidays to help with the end of GP Fundholding year end here at East Quay Medical Centre.


Why did you choose to work in NHS?
It choose me really. I carried on part-time whilst finishing a-levels and then I was asked to stay, rather than head off to uni as planned. Instead the practice supported me to do my Degree in Health and Social Care through the Open University. And I have been here ever since.

In that time I have also done a Masters in Strategic Management and had many amazing opportunities to work in many roles in various other organisations whilst also being at East Quay. For example, the BONES out of hours service, Somerset Coast PCT, Somerset PCT, Somerset CCG, Somerset Primary Healthcare, the Somerset GP Board, SASP as well as helping other practices who need a bit more support. It has been a wonderful opportunity.

My roots are very firmly here in the practice, which means I bring the outside knowledge and perspectives in, but also that my work with these other projects and organisations is based on a really sound practical reality.


What do you do?
I am Practice Manager. It is a hugely rewarding, if always demanding, role. The knowledge and skills expected of all in primary care is high, and this is especially so of Practice Managers who need practical skills as well as strategic vision and leadership if we are to lead our practices to success and sustainability in the short, medium and long term.

We are the shield for the team and we are the cheerleader for the team – whilst ensuring the finances are good, the governance and regulation are good, systems are smooth and effective and our vision and its execution is right.


What would you tell someone now who was thinking about a career in the NHS?
It is a joy to work in the NHS. Not only because the NHS and its people are valued, but because you really can make a difference to people – patients and colleagues – despite all of the change and pressure. It is this real human interaction and impact that matters to us all.


Describe the NHS in one word

Rachel Stark -

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