Pallav, Clinical Lead (ED) Hinchingbrooke Hospital


Why did you want to become a consultant and what made you want to enter the Emergency Department?

I did brief stints in Emergency Medicine in the early years of my career, 1999 and again in 2004 and I totally loved it. I felt that it suited my personality and my strengths. I have grown a lot as a person and working in a large team that an Emergency Department is, has contributed to a large part of my development.    

Why did you want to join Team North West Anglia?

When I was approached for this job in 2018 and I met the leadership of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, I could see the vision and sense the passion and commitment in them to see Hinchingbrooke Hospital Emergency Department become successful. As it turned out, it was the best decision I could have made for I have met some wonderful people and made some fantastic work friends. It has been fantastic to see Hinchingbrooke Hospital Emergency Department develop into a well-run and caring department that is recognised for its success.   

Background to your role?    

As an Emergency Department consultant my role is to make sure every patient during my shift gets excellent care. Another aspect is to make sure that the staff feel supported and they learn something new every day.

As a clinical lead my role is to make sure that all of our patients get good care, all of the time, and that staff get to develop and prosper. Seeing colleagues develop and progress is one of the most fulfilling parts of the job.

Unfortunately the role does see you deal with loss and this is the worst thing by far about the role. If the life we lose is young then it is especially hard to deal with. It is a very difficult part of the job and hard to come to terms with why that had to happen. The support we as a team and the Trust offers, is hugely important to help staff deal with these difficult circumstances. I am glad that we are a team that supports and looks out for each other.

What do you love about your role?

While it is a cliché, working in an Emergency Department really helps you make a difference to someone’s life. I work with a great team, within the department as well as across the hospital. Everyone seems to know everyone else and cares for others abilities and limitations. People are fantastic at coming together in the moments of crises.

What happens daily in your role?

No two days are the same in the Emergency Department at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, each day brings a different challenge and it is my job to make sure that we work and grow together as a team to ensure we are prepared as much as possible to meet those challenges.

A typical day starts at 8am when we have a team huddle to catch up with what has happened during the night and what challenges we may face later that day. We assess our preparedness for the first peak of ambulances at around 10am by creating as much space as possible.

It can however all change rapidly if someone comes in needing immediate care. It is an intense job and requires you to think on your feet, which is what I enjoy most about my role.

I also have a lovely family at home and they help me keep the perspective that is essential with a highly pressured role. My hour-long drive home helps me process my thoughts and unwind so I am ready for them.

What are the benefits of working for North West Anglia?

It is a remarkably friendly place to work. There are no barriers. You can literally pick up a phone and talk to someone and you know they would help you as much as they can.

On a simpler level I use the car hire scheme that the Trust has, I love it. It is unlikely I will ever buy a car.

How has your role developed over the years, tell us about your journey in the NHS?

15 years ago, my role was fast paced, complex and unpredictable in nature and I felt worked that really worked well with my temperament. Fast forward 15 years and the nature of the role remains the same and I am still enjoying it every day.

How has Covid-19 impacted on your role?

COVID 19 has brought home important aspects of work as well as life. I appreciate people I work with a lot more. I appreciate their commitment and sense of duty. People have risked their lives in providing care and they continue to do so.

I appreciate the value of positive relationships with oneself, family and colleagues a lot more and it has made me a lot more humble and a reflective person.