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“We are there to help everyone” – Satha shares his story on the NHS 76

On 5 July 2024, the NHS will mark 76 years of service. NELFT is taking the opportunity to share staff stories and the contributions they have made to the Trust and the NHS.

There are over 350 careers in the NHS across the UK from clinical roles like nursing and physiotherapy to non-clinical roles such as finance and communications.

Satha Alaganandasundaram, who is a Finance Business Partnering Manager within NELFT’s Corporate Services, will soon be celebrating his 20th anniversary with the NHS. Before joining the Trust, Satha worked in the private sector and care sector. He said:

“NELFT is an inclusive organisation, and the staff all respect each other. When I began my role in the NHS, I enjoyed the role due to the full support of my previous Deputy Director of Finance, Ian Cable.”

After 15 years with the finance department, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the NHS. Satha was redeployed and played a big part in the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) depot, he said:

“I was asked to go to BHRUT (Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust) finance base at Romford at the end of March 2020 to make goggles and visors for clinicians with other neighbouring Trust’s finance colleagues. I worked weekends and evenings after 5pm.''

“I was then redeployed to our PPE depot, where I was part of setting up equipment at the beginning of the pandemic. I worked three months full time as well as doing my finance work too.''

“This was a very critical period. On one side, we are working with auditors remotely, and on the other side, there were clinical colleagues going through very hard time due to lack of PPE. During those three months, I worked seven days a week. But I did enjoy working in PPE to support our clinical staff during the pandemic. I do believe my role during the pandemic must have made a big difference.”

Working in the NHS can be a worthwhile experience, Satha said:

“One of the most rewarding parts of working in the NHS is when my work is recognised by my seniors. I did lots of work in Inclusion & Diversity within finance and in London. Recently, I did a presentation to NHS finance colleagues nationwide, which was highly commended by NHS finance senior leaders in London.”

Outside of his role at NELFT, Satha is also an active volunteer and has represented the Trust on many occasions, he said:

“I am also spending my spare time every Saturday to volunteer at local parkruns. I am one of the run directors of Valentine Park in Ilford and a parkrun ambassador for London.''

“To celebrate the NHS’s 75th Birthday last year, we successfully organised a parkrun at Valentine’s Park where lots of medics, nurses, occupational therapists, and other NHS colleagues took part from local Trusts.''

“We also organised this year’s International Nurses’ Day parkrun a few weeks ago where over 400 runners turned up, including lots of our colleagues from local trusts and NELFT’s Chief Nurse.''

“GPs are sending their patients to parkrun as part of the activity process to reduce obesity and to prevent other heart diseases. I strongly encourage all our colleagues to go to your local parkrun every Saturday at 8.45–9.00am to do your run, jog, or a walk. It's completely free and I am sure you will love it.”

Satha’s role in NELFT’s finance department benefits both staff and patients, he said:

“The finance function is an important part in the corporate services. We help managers to ensure they are fully supported in their allocated budget, where they are always achieving high productivity and to ensure it produces value for money results. The main ambition is to look after both staff and patients’ welfare.”

There are a few routes into the finance corporate services in the NHS, including apprenticeships, Satha said:

“Our apprenticeship route and student placements are the two important roles in the finance function. We train them and give them day release from their studies to ensure they complete their accountancy qualifications within a few years' time to become a qualified accountant.''

“In our finance team currently four of our former apprentices are now holding bands 4-8 and a couple of them are already fully qualified. Through an apprenticeship, they achieve their potential of becoming a senior accountant/manager soon. We are there to help everyone.”

To learn more about a career at NELFT, visit NELFT Careers.


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