Career Stories: John Mitchell, Shaping the Future of Digital Healthcare

Our ‘Career Stories’ blog posts have been developed to help show the variety of careers in health and care. In this article, we spoke to John Mitchell, who reflected on his career and the immense changes he’s witnessed in IT and healthcare, as he celebrates 25 years working in the NHS.

In my 25-year career within the NHS so far, change has been a constant theme. Starting as an IT support technician in Health Place (Brigg) in 1998, I have witnessed a significant evolution of technology and organisational practices.

Back in 1998, email communication beyond the building’s walls was a distant dream. We relied on internal memos, with the morning ritual involving sorting through piles of stamped post. The introduction of external emailing was a monumental shift, requiring significant business change and adaptation. We often forget how far we have come.

My career progression has been driven by practical experience and mentorship, including a sandwich year in industry during university and guidance from managers. Understanding organisational priorities and taking ownership of responsibilities were crucial lessons learned along the way.

Advocating for shared responsibility and continuous learning became key principles as I advanced. Embracing technological advancements like centralised printing and network storage streamlined workflows, despite challenges like limited storage capacity.

One poignant incident during a transition period highlighted the profound impact even small actions can have. A brief phone line downtime led to a distraught voicemail from a woman who had just lost her husband, emphasising the importance of our work and the NHS’ core mission remained unwavering: to serve our population and improve people’s lives.

Shared accountability and a sense of pride in our mission continue to drive us forward, even amidst challenges. Embracing change and staying committed to our purpose are crucial as we navigate the evolving healthcare landscape.

Reflecting on my 25-year journey in the NHS, I’m reminded of the transformative power of embracing change and continuous learning in the digital realm. My experiences underscore the rewarding career opportunities awaiting future generations in IT and digital roles within the NHS. By sharing my story, I hope to inspire others to embark on a path of innovation; shaping the future of digital healthcare for generations to come.

April 2024

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