Please give a brief overview of your background
I have a Pakistani background and moved from Saudi Arabi to the UK before I turned one years old. I was brought up in London and have lived here ever since, gaining an education, progressing in my career, and raising a family.
I studied GCSEs, A Levels, and gained a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with Analytical Chemistry at Kings College London. Having achieved these qualifications, I wanted to continue learning so I did a CIMA qualification whilst working full time as a Chartered Management Accountant ACMA.
I started my first job at the age of sixteen, working part-time in Sainsbury's. After completing my degree, I worked as a Programme Coordinator for a chemicals and marketing company called Matthey PIC. Taking on this role helped me to progress onto a venture capitalist company called AHG Venice as their capital accountant, overseeing the development of a chain of De-Vere and Village Hotels capitally backed by the Bank of Scotland.
In 2008, I joined the NHS family and was appointed as Senior Management Accountant for a Mental and Community Health Trust called Central and North West London (CNWL). A large part of my role was to look after the community and acute mental health teams within three boroughs. After some time working for the NHS, I took a career break after giving birth to twin boys. I later returned to the organisation and was appointed to Head of Business and Transformation for North West London Mental Health Services.
I joined the GP Care Group in 2017 as Chief Financial Officer and have since been developing the finance functions and expanding this into delivering performance reporting for contracts and supporting ICT, Clinical systems across the Care Group.
What are the key aspects of your role?
Ultimately, I am responsible for the financial management of the GP Care Group. This is to ensure the organisation remains a going concern and is compliant with all the rules and regulations enforced by HMRC.
My role requires the provision of ICT including systems and hardware, but I also get to explore new business opportunities with the Executive Team. Another aspect of my job is to monitor services’ key performance indicators and send reports to commissioners and other external parties such as NHS England, Public Health.
What team/service does your role sit within?
As the Chief Financial Officer my role sits within the Corporate function and the Executive Team.
Name two other teams/services that you work closely with
The great thing about my job is that I can work with all services in the GP Care Group. I work alongside services to support and improve their contractual key performance indicators by providing them with relevant information.
The two teams I work closest to are the Operational Team and front-line colleagues. I have a close working relationship with the Operational Team, ensuring that colleagues have the right equipment to work with. I also help the team to identify if their current operational model needs to be improved. When working with front-line colleagues, I provide them with the relevant training they need to use clinical systems and ensure they have the necessary ICT equipment to undertake their role.
It’s important that colleagues deliver a high-quality service for patients, which is why I work closely with ICT providers to improve the Care Group’s infrastructure. Working collaboratively with providers is the best way that digital innovation can help improve services.
Describe a typical day in your role
The exciting thing about my role is that no one day is typical. Usually, the first agenda on my day is to drop my kids off at school and then I make my way into the office.
On most days I’m in one or two meetings with commissioners or external parties such as banks, auditors, advisors or in internal service meetings. When I’m not in meetings the first part of the day involves me dealing with requests, going through emails, and resolving issues. These issues can be either performance queries, ICT solutions, or processing finance payments and reviewing cost models.
In the afternoons I spend my time completing various reports, which requires collecting data from a variety of internal and external sources.
The best thing about my role is that I can switch between finance, performance, and ICT throughout the day. There is never a day that I’m not working on any of these areas, which makes my role multifaceted.
What would you say are the most challenging aspects of your role?
Managing different relationships externally and internally can be a challenge because I need to ensure that pitch information and conversations are the right approaches for different audiences.
Another challenge I face is managing my time because there are always 101 things that need to get done. Prioritising elements of my work is a must, but also making sure nothing gets missed is very important, as I have to deal with both commissioning and statutory HMRC deadlines.
What are you most proud of in your job?
I am most proud of building a capable team, because we have grown so much as an organisation while ensuring our financial processes are established, robust and followed. I’d say that is a testament to the Finance team’s dedication to make sure systems are set up.
I am also proud of the improvement the Care Group has made in our performance reports and business intelligence. Services like the Urgent Treatment Centre have been praised by commissioners on their visuals and easy-to-read dashboard, which is produced daily. This allows the service to see its current performance and has engaged clinicians in improving breach compliance, which was noted by the CEO of The Royal London.
Lastly, the Care Group’s ability to embrace a new way of cloud-based working is something I’m very proud of. This way of working is currently being put within teams and will help with collaboration and team working across services.
Share one thing that your colleagues don’t know about you?
Away from the Care Group I am a keen cyclist and enjoy watching sports like boxing and American football. I also love spending time with my family and playing with technical gadgets. Some colleagues may know and have, even on occasion, joined me in playing online games. I’m an avid PlayStation 4 player with my game of choice being Call of Duty. If you haven’t spotted me yet, you will find me gaming most Friday evenings!