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National Careers Week 7-13 March. Meet the Primary Care Team

Updated: Mar 7, 2022

This week is National Careers Week and we are going to meet some members of our primary care team.

We will learn more about their career journeys, learning and development, working in primary care and why primary care could be an option for you.

Meet Sara-Jane:

Workforce Manager, Kent & Medway Primary Care Training Hub

My career journey

In 1998, I qualified as a nurse, starting my career at Queen Elizabeth Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, Kent. I worked in various clinical roles including being Head of Tissue Viability and Intravenous Therapy from Kent Community Health Foundation Trust in 2009. In 2014 I became a Workforce Manger for East Kent Primary Care Training Hub and that is where I am today.

When I was younger I wanted to...

Even from a young age, I have always wanted to be a nurse.

Why did I choose Primary Care?

My background has mainly been Community Nursing, until 7 years ago when I took on my current role supporting the Primary Care Workforce. I am passionate about my current role as it enables me to support others to ‘get in and get on’ within the NHS. Education is key to patient safety and care and by supporting others to develop along their career pathways, I feel I am making a difference to Primary Care and to patient's lives.

Would you advise people to choose a career in Primary Care in 2022?

Definitely. Yes. Primary care is so diverse and it enables all professionals the opportunity to develop along a career pathway. Primary Care is a perfect career choice from those at a beginner level to very experienced professionals.

My advice to someone who isn't sure what they want to do as a job?

I would highly recommend the NHS, it has multiple career options and diverse pathways, there is something for everyone, no matter your strengths and interests.

Meet Kirstye:

Dispensary Manager, Littlebourne Surgery

My career journey...

I started my NHS journey in 1997 when I worked on a Brain injury unit at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Folkestone as an HCA, I was always interested in the medicine side of my role and pursued this route. I then worked at various dispensing practices across Norfolk. I also began working part-time as a sexual health outreach worker for the Terrence Higgins Trust. After qualifying as a Pharmacy technician I was offered the role of Medicines Lead for Norfolk Urgent Care Service. In 2017, I began my work as a Tutor for Dispex -providing training for dispensing practices across England and Wales. Six months ago I moved back to GP dispensing practice as a Manager and continue my work as a tutor with Dispex. I now also write training content for courses aimed at dispensing practices across England and Wales.

When I was younger I wanted to...

I wanted to be a writer or a charity relief worker.

Why did I choose Primary Care?

I have always wanted to look after people and I am passionate about making people feel better in often their most difficult times.

What do I enjoy most about working in Primary Care?

The challenges brought about by the past few years of the pandemic means I have seen some positive changes to ways of working, as well as the positive responses from my patients which always make it seem worthwhile!

My biggest achievement in my career so far is...

I have recently written a CPD accredited course aimed at prescription clerks in GP Practices, which was a training gap I had noticed. To have my work accredited is a great privilege.

My advice to someone who isn't sure what they want to do?

Focus on the things you truly care about or enjoy. Doing something that you can continually develop yourself in is important and shouldn’t be underestimated. Try lots of different things to see what peaks your interest. Can you volunteer for a cause you are passionate about? This is often a good route to see what you enjoy and can provide you with the training and experience to pursue a career in similar areas.

Meet Mayur Vibhuti

GP Associate Dean Lead, Kent & Medway Primary Care Training Hub

My career journey...

I've had a meandering career journey that I could never have planned in advance. It has taken me from training at Medical School in London, to working in Australia, back to London and then Surrey for GP Training and finally to Kent where, after being a GP Partner for 10 years, I followed my wife’s work out to Indonesia, returning in 2021. During this time alongside my GP Partnership I’ve had lots of roles too: Education, Medical Director, CCG Clinical Adviser and Mentorship roles. Currently, I am a part-time salaried GP in Medway, HEE GP Associate Dean lead for Kent & Medway ICS Training Hub, as well as a Kent & Medway CCG Clinical lead for Digital, Quality & Learning.

When I was younger I wanted to...

I was mostly interested in Football, Technology, Biology and Economics…probably in that order! 17 is such a young age to decide about a lifelong career, but my parents were keen that I studied medicine and I was lucky enough to get the grades.

Why did I choose Primary Care?

During my time working in Emergency Medicine in Australia I understood what work life balance could be like and that I enjoyed solving problems quickly, one after the other, through undifferentiated presentations. Before coming back to the UK I backpacked around SE Asia, which gave me a lot of thinking time about specialisation and I felt being a generalist was the right path for me and general practice would give me the flexibility I needed.

What do I enjoy most about working in Primary Care?

I would always advocate for working in primary care! Primary care is the most flexible, family friendly option in all of medicine, and probably also is for other allied health and nursing professions who make up our teams too. I’ve always thought (and taught!) in General Practice we treat people, whilst in hospitals they treat diseases – it’s an important distinction, which is based on good relationships as much as it is on practising good medicine. There is also so much opportunity for innovation in primary care. We have proven time and time again how we can be agile and experiment with new ways of working. There are also many opportunities for deeper specialisation, either within a clinical area of expertise or through education & training or clinical leadership & management.

My advice to someone who isn't sure what they want to do?

Work out who you are and what you bring. What are your superpowers? I can’t stress this enough as if you find yourself in an environment that doesn’t fit your values and doesn’t appreciate your skill set you will find work harder than it needs to be. If you haven’t quite figured out who you are and what you’re good at yet – then there are tools out there that can start you on your journey of self-discovery. If in doubt, give something a go and see what happens, you might surprise yourself at what you’re capable of! General Practice is always changing and there are real opportunities in 2022 to find your niche where you can thrive!

For more information on primary care careers, contact your local training hub:

East Kent Training Hub:

North Kent Training Hub:

West Kent Training Hub:

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