Outpatient service manager Alison Digney started at St Bartholomew’s in 1988 as a clinic receptionist and health records clerk. After a few years she became the admin lead for the urology department before being appointed as an admin manager for the cardiology department.
Her long career at the hospital progressed from there when she pioneered a series of successful innovations such as the G2 live clinics programme.
With this pilot, letters were typed immediately after dictation and the clinician would check and sign off the letters whilst still in clinic, reducing the amount staff spent on typing to zero days.
Cardiology was one of the first departments where G2 was implemented.
Whilst working as the delivery manager for the private patients unit at St Bartholomew’s, she also helped establish the pathways for private bookings and introduced a more efficient way of working.
This led to a significant increase in the number of private bookings over the next year.
Alison said: “I am a firm believer that we should continue to improve, evolve and move forward and I look for ways to improve every day. Sometimes the changes don’t work, but I shall always try. I like to ensure that the staff around can have their input.
“I believe that the staff doing the job are the same staff that come up with the best ideas to improve. That’s why leading by example has always been my moto,” she said.
When she started as the outpatients service manager she enjoyed going back to the area where she first started all those years ago.
Alison said: “I believe that a patient’s experience starts when they first walk through your door and that usually starts with outpatients.
“I want that experience to continue throughout the rest of their pathway. Let’s start as we mean to go on,” she said.
I ask her what positive changes would you like to see in the world for both men and women over the next decade?
“Unfortunately I still feel there is still a stigma towards mental health, and this is due to lack of knowledge about a disability that cannot be seen.
“Looking to the future, I hope there is more education, availability of services to assist with mental health and most of all, more compassion,” Alison said.