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| 2 minutes read

Background: What I Am Doing During my Horizons Fellowship

Dear everyone,

I suspect a few of you will now have seen me posting various pictures and thoughts on the Indian health system. A few people have asked what I’m up to and suggested I write a blog about it – this is my first attempt.

A bit about me

For those of you I’ve not met I thought a bit of background might be useful. I started working in the NHS in 2006 as an admin assistant in Bristol. I’ve always felt close to the NHS with both parents working in it and it felt like the ideal organisation to work in to make a difference to people as well as work with some amazing colleagues. I was lucky enough to get a place on the NHS graduate scheme and have now spent 12 years in the NHS working in commissioning, public health, operational management and strategic change culminating in an exec position at Yeovil Hospital.

Some of the fantastic folks at Yeovil Hospital

Learning and a challenge

Throughout my time in the NHS I’ve felt the only way to get things done is to learn from those around me. Understanding the process of care, what frustrates people, and where they think we can be better is central to knowing what needs to be done. Once you’ve listened to people you can come to a better diagnosis but also find the best people to take that change forward. The other benefit of this approach is it’s fascinating learning about the services we offer and the people who run them. 

Over the years I have gradually become aware that whilst I was learning from those around me, my world was relatively confined to the NHS and there was much more to see. As I studied for an MBA I also started to learn more about how the NHS compared to different health systems and some of the new ways of working developing around the world. During a mentoring session with Helen Bevan, Chief Transformation Officer at NHS Horizons, she challenged me to think more broadly about my personal and career development and we discussed the idea of seeing some of these health systems first-hand.

The NHS Horizons Fellowship

This discussion and Helen’s encouragement led to the creation of the NHS Horizons Fellowship where I would take a few months off work to visit health systems around the world in an attempt to learn from their challenges and innovations and share what I learnt. The fellowship will see me visit a range of countries such as India, Rwanda, South Africa, Singapore, New Zealand, Argentina, Canada, the USA and Australia. I’m also hoping to visit some health systems in the UK.

Countries I’m hoping to visit

I’ll share these experiences on twitter @SethiSimon and via a series of blogs and short videos. I’m hugely grateful to Yeovil Hospital for giving me the time off, to Helen for the challenge, and most of all to my wife Rhona for putting up with my travels!


health, healthcare, nhs, global health