Alex Robinson on his first 30 days at Attain

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Tell us a little bit about yourself

I grew up in Leeds, studied in Oxford and Bavaria and currently live with my wife and two year old son in the suburbs of Leicester. My career in healthcare started back in 2004, after working in London and Leeds in the financial services industry. My first manager in the NHS warned me at interview that once you get into healthcare, there’s no turning back – which I took as a positive, and of course she was right. I started as a data analyst in an acute trust supporting pathway re-design and was immediately hooked into the NHS with the challenge of making improvements for the benefit of patients.

Since then, I have worked in a collaborative procurement hub and a commissioning support unit, both as an analyst and within the NHS.

How have your first 30 days been at Attain?

My first 30 days at Attain has been the most exciting time I have had in a role. I have transferred myself from a relatively routine position into a national consultancy with a wide variety of clients and projects all over the country.

Despite the disperse geographical nature of our team, I was put through a clearly-structured and well-thought out induction programme, which started with two days in the head office in London. As part of this, I had the opportunity to speak to all the directors and a number of other new colleagues, including a “buddy”, all of whom welcomed me and demonstrated what a supportive culture there is at Attain. During my second week, I shadowed a team based in the South West, who were very generous with their time to help me acclimatise and share insight into the work they were doing. Then before that week was over, I was put forward in a proposal for a significant Strategic Workforce project, which we duly won. So for the last three weeks, I have been working full time as part of a six strong team of Attain colleagues on this very exciting and complex project, supporting a Community Health Services provider.

What attracted you to Attain?

I have known of Attain since it began in 2011 and was familiar with some of the commercial team, who joined Attain at the outset. Following a catch-up with one of these former colleagues, I started to follow Attain on LinkedIn and a while later began to wonder if the consultancy world was for me.

It was clear to me that (a) I wanted to move into something more varied and exciting and (b) I am wedded to improving our health service. However, the idea of joining a private firm after 15 years as a public servant was quite daunting. After a few more conversations, the final piece dropped into place, which was learning more about the culture and values of Attain. It is a high performing business and at the same time it is very focussed on the wellbeing of its people. This is evidenced through the day-to-day behaviours of all the staff, not just something that gets mentioned from time-to-time.

What’s the best thing about being employed with Attain?

It is a combination of being surrounded by bright and supportive colleagues, the exciting mix of project work and the autonomy afforded to each of us, which I find the most rewarding aspects.

What do you hope the future brings for you with Attain?

I am looking forward to continuing my current learning curve and applying it to improving the NHS. There is something extremely satisfying in understanding the complexities of health services, researching and understanding new innovation and helping to bring them together to transform the way the NHS operates.