Q: Hi John, it’s lovely to meet you. Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Epro?
As project manager, my role at Epro is actually really varied and, as with most smaller organisations, covers a multitude of facets of the business. Firstly, I am responsible for moving our customers onto the latest software. I also support the sales team in bringing in new business and expanding our business amongst existing clients. Finally, I play quite a big part in educating customers in how to get the best out of the platform. It may not sound like much, but with quite a large customer base and lots of users of the system, as a team of three within project management, I definitely keep busy.
I think one of the most important elements of my role is the educational element; there is a gentle demand within the NHS to move towards digitisation – and, as much as navigating change can be tricky, users are recognising the value they can unlock in the system by improving existing workflows with intuitive software.
Q: What would you say is the thing you enjoy most about your job?
Genuinely, it’s being part of the Epro team. I’ve got 30 years of experience of working within healthcare and the NHS, and I haven’t come across a company like Epro before. It’s full of genuinely nice people who all care passionately about the work they do and that makes every day a joy to come to work. As a team, we also believe really strongly in the platform. It’s so flexible and is capable of doing so many things. There are a good number of products that never see the light of day, so I’m thrilled to be part of something that is making a tangible difference to trust workflows, clinicians and patients.
Q: You mentioned you have quite a lot of experience in healthcare, how did you get into it?
I’ve always enjoyed being a generalist and being on a journey of continuous learning, so my career is quite extensive. Originally, I was a lecturer in management training, but I got into healthcare with an organisation called Defence Medical Services, when I was recruited into it by an ex-colleague. I found myself in a project management role there, and spent about eight years testing things in the middle of the desert, etc. I also qualified as a Prince 2 Lecturer and delivered courses alongside my Project Management roles.
After leaving DMS, I became involved in the National Programme for IT, with BT. I also worked for a number of trusts and then was a contractor for about 20 years. I have worked in radiology, in pharmacy, in mental health – pretty much anything you can imagine relating to healthcare IT. I believe that breadth of experience is important for project management as no two projects are the same, so you need to be able to approach each with an open mindset.
Q: Brilliant, thanks John. So, let’s make it personal. Outside of work, what do you enjoy?
Well, I used to be a football referee, many years ago, but I had to stop that when my children started to get older as it was simply taking up too much time. However, I am still a keen sportsman and I follow football and rugby. I have also been president of my local rugby club and stay involved with the local community that way. More recently, grandchildren have started to appear and with the flexibility afforded to me by Epro, I take a half day every Friday. I pick my 4 ½ year-old grandson up from nursery and we have “Pops Time” where he gets to choose what we do. When he goes to school full time in September, I’ll spend that time with my second grandchild.
In addition, I have a 1-year old Labrador, who my family bought for me last year. So I spend a lot of time walking and training him. And finally, my partner and I have recently spent a small fortune on a campervan, called Humphrey. Being relatively new to that world, we’ve spent the last year doing weekend trips in the UK, but we’re about to embark on our first trip overseas. We’re not going too far – just two weeks in Brittany – but it’s something I’m really looking forward to. And, depending on how that goes, the plan is to go to northern Spain next year with some friends.
Q: Sounds like you keep busy – both in and out of work, John. So, on a final note, what is one thing you would like readers to know about yourself or Epro that they might not know?
I do this role because I’m a deliverer. I like the challenge of getting a project delivered – and I like to bring my clients with me. As far as that is concerned, there is no difference between our clients and us; we’re all part of the same team, aiming to get to the same end – which is to deliver change and improve patient care successfully for everyone involved.