Improving services – Heather is our NHS Hero

Landing a job at West Midlands Ambulance Service in 2004 led to Heather Bradley (38) enjoying a successful career in operational and project management in the NHS.

Heather, who lives in Kingswinford, currently works as service development lead at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (DWMH), a position she has held for four years.

“I really enjoy my job,” said Heather.

“It’s not really a role that people would come up with if you asked them to name jobs in the NHS, but we play a vital role in continuing to develop and improve services for our patients.”

Heather, who has previously worked at Heartlands, Good Hope and New Cross Hospitals, leads a team of four who are responsible for the planning and delivery of many service improvement projects across the whole organisation.

“We work with a wide range of staff,” said Heather.

“That’s one of the things I enjoy most – we speak to different people every day and our work is varied. One day we could be supporting a clinical team with a ward move and the next we could be writing a bid to expand current services or develop new ones.”

Heather’s career highlight so far was when she was working at Good Hope Hospital.

“I worked with the medical teams to set up the stroke thrombolysis service,” explained Heather.

“The service has since saved many lives and was even featured on Good Morning Britain, so I look back on that with really fond memories.

“Although we don’t have daily contact with patients, the work of the project management office directly impacts on the services used by our patients.”

In her spare time, Heather enjoys spending time with her husband, Richard and two children, Ellis (7) and Owen (2).

“Most of my spare time is spent with the boys and mainly on the side of a football pitch!” laughed Heather.

“Ellis has recently signed for Kidderminster Harrier’s under 8’s, so most weekends is spent watching him play – but I wouldn’t change that at all!

“I am also part of the DWMH netball team and have enjoyed playing weekly with colleagues over the last few months.”

So who is Heather’s hero?

“It has to be my aunty,” said Heather.

“She was such a strong, inspirational woman.”

Heather’s mental health message: “Don’t be afraid to talk to each other – it can really help.”