Northumbria Primary Care Deputy Group Manager Abigail Callender has won big at this year’s Northumbria Healthcare Staff Awards. With fierce competition from strong nominees in other areas of the trust, Abi was able to bring the ‘Manager of the Year’ trophy home to NPC!
We sat down with Abi to catch up about the evening, her management style and how she has grown with Northumbria Primary Care.
Hi Abi, congratulations on your win! How does it feel?
I’m honestly still a bit shocked! I was completely taken by surprise on the night and it felt so surreal to have my name read out. To be honest, I was absolutely over the moon just to have been nominated, so to bring home the award was absolutely incredible. After the announcement, I was just utterly lost for words; I really can’t explain how grateful I am. It means so much to be able to bring the award back to Northumbria Primary Care and share it with my team. Their ongoing support and encouragement makes my job a lot easier!
You’ve been with NPC for quite a while now, how has your journey with us been?
You’re right, I feel like part of the furniture at this point! I started with Northumbria Healthcare as a management trainee for three years and was able to experience placements in a number of different areas of the trust. The last placement I had was with Northumbria Primary Care at Spring Terrace Health Centre and I just loved it! When my training came to an end I applied for the Admin Lead position at Spring Terrace and did that for a year and a half before moving in to the Practice Lead role at Ponteland Medical Group. From there I became a Senior Practice Lead, taking on Elsdon Avenue Surgery alongside Ponteland Medical Group, before successfully applying for the Deputy Group Manager position which I’ve been in for two years now!
On your path to this point, have you taken notes from your previous managers on how to succeed in the role?
Absolutely! I’m very fortunate that all of my managers at Northumbria Primary Care have been compassionate, understanding and motivated people who empower their teams to be the best version of themselves. When you’ve been managed in this way, you understand how important it is to be supported and nurtured; that’s something that I take very seriously in my role.
As our Deputy Group Manager, what do you enjoy most about your job?
I love that a big function of my role is to support other teams and help grow people’s skillsets. Our practice teams are brilliant and care so much about their patients. Their dedication to providing the highest level of care possible is truly inspiring and I love to support that passion.
It’s not always a piece of cake though! What are some challenges you face?
As anyone who’s worked in primary care knows, you’re constantly having curve balls thrown your way. It can be disorienting and sometimes things take you completely by surprise, but it’s all about being able to adapt your approach and stay on your toes. The day-to-day variety is also a big part of why I love my job. Knowing that two days aren’t going to be the same means that I never feel bored or stuck in a rut. It’s great to be exposed to so many different situations; variety is the spice of life!
What do you think makes Northumbria Primary Care stand out as a place to work?
No matter who you are or what job you do, there is always the opportunity for growth. We take great pride in hiring the right people and helping them progress through their career; I’m a great example of that. When I look at the people around me, I see colleagues who’ve been with the organisation for years. Colleagues who have risen through the ranks, completed qualifications and found new career paths. It’s great to work in an organisation where each individual is valued and given the attention they need to grow into themselves and who they want to be.
Have you got any parting words you’d like to share?
I’d just like to re-iterate my thanks to the wonderful team that I have around me. It’s very cliché, but without them my job would be a lot harder and I don’t think I’d be standing here with this shiny award! I also want to say congratulations to the other managers nominated. It was a really strong group of people to be recognised alongside and I’m sure they’ll be back in the mix next year! Lastly, I’d also like to thank Rebecca Railton for nominating me in the first place. Having watched Rebecca manage her teams, I know how good of a manager she is, so it makes it all the more special to have her put me forward!
Does Northumbria Primary Care sound like the kind of place you want to work? We’re always looking for talented and committed individuals to join our team. To read more about our offer to staff, click here.
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