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Creating a new NHS England: NHS England and NHS Digital merged on 1 February 2023. More about the merger.

Alex Gibson

Alex is an NHSmail service practitioner

NHSmail Service Practitioner

Working for this organisation has had a profound impact for me both personally and professionally. When I was 11 years old, I was in a car accident that left me teaching myself how to walk again. It was a devastating blow – I had to give up playing rugby, which I loved, and my confidence was completely knocked. For a long time, I didn’t think I was a physically capable person. 

My first ‘proper’ job combined 2 of my main interests: maths and sports. I worked for Opta Sports collating rugby stats in real time for clients like sports broadcasters. I would do a mix of observing the game and shouting out code for each play (incomprehensible phrases like “Z9P10P12 comma 2!”) or inputting it into the system. It was pretty full-on but fun. 

At the time, I was completing my degree in maths, with a focus on statistics, at Leeds University. After I graduated, I worked in London as a data analyst for a shipping company. I missed Leeds, however, and moved back after 2 years away.  

Working for this organisation has had a profound impact for me both personally and professionally.

Shortly after, I landed a job in the NHSmail team. We like to say, “NHSmail is more than just email!” – we also deploy collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams across the health and care system to help with remote working. Currently, there are over 20,000 organisations with a total of 1.8 million users signed up for NHSmail. 

In my role, I analyse business intelligence and provide organisations with data that helps them make better decisions and collaborate more effectively. I really enjoy it because no 2 days are the same, and I get a lot of satisfaction working in the public sector. I know when we make things more efficient, taxpayers’ money can be put to good use elsewhere in the system. 

Those conversations helped to trigger a seismic shift in my life.

I realised recently how big of an impact my accident had on the rest of my life, and I reached out for help with our employee assistance programme. I was able to speak with a counsellor and those conversations helped to trigger a seismic shift in my life.  

Since then, I’ve set myself goals and reconnected with sport. I play badminton, wheelchair rugby with Leeds Rhinos and I’ve also started running. I ran 13 kilometres the other day and I’m signed up for next year’s marathon in Leeds. 

I can now look to the future with a genuine feeling of positivity.

My work life has also benefitted – my ability to do my job well has grown alongside my confidence, and I can now look to the future with a genuine feeling of positivity.