When I started out in the NHS I could never have imagined where my career would take me. Over 40 years later I have had the most wonderful career both as a clinician and as a patient safety specialist which has taken me all over the world and to meet the most fantastic people along the way.
I decided last year that in 2020 I would go freelance. As someone who has always been ‘an employee’ it was a really scary decision but I really wanted to continue to do the things I love with the people I love working with.
What do I call myself? I mulled over… patient safety consultant (might get confusing), patient safety expert or patient safety specialist or something more business-like, ‘Suzette Woodward Consultancy’. I settled on Patient Safety Specialist. I looked it up in the thesaurus – skilled, skilful, professional, expert, dedicated and whizz! – quite like how that felt.
I want to do a mix of things – the term most people seem to use for this is a ‘portfolio career’. So, this is me now in February, a freelance patient safety specialist with a portfolio career.
In addition to working on my own I also want to collaborate with others. The main collaboration is with two of the Sign up to Safety campaign team; Sarah Garrett and David Naylor. All three of us have spent most of our careers working in the NHS, nationally and with frontline staff as well as specialist support for senior leaders and Boards. As part of the Sign up to Safety campaign team, we co-developed new approaches to exploring the implementation gap between work as imagined and work as done and in getting beneath the surface with conversations to help people work safer.
We want to work with people to provide our unique expertise in a bespoke and tailored way that meets their needs and our values. Please do get in touch if you would like to explore working with either myself or the three of us.
Easiest way to do this is to send me a private direct message on my twitter site @suzettewoodward and I can send you my email for further detail – one of us can then give you a ring or have a coffee to discuss further.
Even if you are at early stages and just want to talk through your ideas, we’d be very happy to chat.