What is it like to be an intern at The PSC?
We spoke to our interns from this summer about the projects they worked on and what it’s like working at The PSC.
From working with the UK Space Agency, developing a data strategy for an NHS Trust and improving the quality of mental health care at another NHS Trust - our interns were busy this summer providing valued support to our project teams.
Find out more about what our interns were up to:
What kind of projects have you worked on?
Benny: As interns you tend to do one external project working for clients and one internal project helping out around the company. Externally, I have been helping analyse the causes of healthcare inequalities for people with learning disabilities in an NHS Trust. It's really important work, targeting a group of people traditionally overlooked by society.
I have been able to help my team in lots of ways including interviewing people with learning disabilities and doing research but my main focus has been on making a how-to guide so that people in the NHS Trust's region and the wider NHS can do this kind of work again in the future. It has really helped me get to grips with the wider project and understand every aspect of it.
Internally, I have worked on a couple of areas most recently building a website to help new joiners understand what the Digital Business Unit does and how it works. This was my first opportunity to code and I have loved the independence I have been given on this project as well as the opportunity to interview senior people in the company and run a mini project.
Thomas: I have been working with the UK Space Agency to create a service called 'Monitor your satellites' which helps satellite operators observe and protect their satellites.
The service receives data from SpaceTrack, the UK Space Agency and ESA DISCOS, and it combines it to give satellite operators an easy-to-navigate platform where they can monitor their satellites.
I have personally presented the service to potential new users, conducted data analysis on conjunction events (events where two objects in space could possibly collide) and worked on the design of charts.
Harvey: I have been working to help develop a data strategy which meets the needs of the NHS in a specific region and the needs of the wider region (as our client provides data services to the providers of healthcare across that region).
This is really important work, which will help to facilitate processes such the use of data to identify patients at risk of developing chronic diseases, to facilitate interventions seeking to mitigate the harm to patient health.
Alongside this, I have been developing a training pack which outlines how ICSs (the organisations responsible for planning and providing NHS care) need to tailor and develop their data strategies in order to implement Population Health Management (strategies using data insights to improve population health and well-being). The pack will educate consultants in the company going forward.
Working on projects such as this speaks to the responsibility given to interns at The PSC – I have been given the freedom to drive impactful work forward, which has been very rewarding.
David: I was staffed on an national NHS program for the duration of my internship in addition to an internal project concerned with improving feedback provision within the PSC, which was really exciting. The national program aimed to implement barcode scanning of medical devices within hospitals. Our new role was to work alongside our client to roll out the program to all NHS trusts across the United Kingdom to ensure that hospitals were scanning people, product and place at the point of care. This would allow trusts to gain the operational, financial and patient safety benefits already enjoyed by those inside and outside the UK who already use this technology, as well as aligning trusts with overall NHS digital strategy.
The PSC is split into 3 business units: digital, performance and strategy. The S4S project fell within the digital unit and right from the get-go I was introduced to Agile methodology via the use of Jira boards, daily stand-ups to discuss tasks and progress, weekly roundups and sprint planning- which is really useful in Tech projects. I also had the opportunity to present to representatives from national-level organisations, as well as high-level members from NHS trusts which was an enriching experience, especially considering some of these trusts subsequently showed interest in this amazing initiative. Furthermore, I was personally tasked with creating a training pack for benefits management, allowing NHS trusts with little knowledge of measuring and tracking the benefits of a program to effectively do so for the near future.
Matthew: During my time at The PSC I worked on a really interesting project about improving the quality of mental health care at an NHS . The project looks to improve the proactive intervention of healthcare services before an individual reaches the point of mental health crisis, and looked at achieving this through improving the way healthcare services understand an individual's story, improving how they securely store that story, and then how they use it to best support the individual. It has been a really exciting project that has involved talking to many different stakeholders, and talking to people with lived experience, which is a very empowering and valuable thing to do.
What is it like to work for the PSC?
Benny: I have really enjoyed it. Because you are working on more than one project, each day is different with new challenges. The opportunity to work from home when you want to is a nice perk but I really love the office environment, its great to chat to people and get a sense of what everyone is up to in the company.
The culture is really social with lots of fun events after work and opportunities to learn about and get involved with other work you are interested in. The days can sometimes feel long depending on what you are involved in but the weeks feel really short. These two months have flown by. Everyone is also really receptive to wellbeing with weekly team chats and a buddy system meaning you are supported if there is too much on your plate.
David: Time flies when you are having fun! The past eight weeks have really been a blur just because of how fast paced the work you do is and how varied the workdays tend to be. On one day you might be learning how to use HTML and government packages, and on another, you might be presenting at a regional conference. This makes working really fun , especially if you don't like to do the same tasks every day-like myself.
You can also tell that the company is making more efforts to be more inclusive and diverse through their regular meetings discussing these issues, which is lovely to see! This presents itself in the office where people are really interested in tackling issues like racial inequalities in the NHS, social determinants of disease and health and also in the sorts of professional and academic backgrounds that people coming into the PSC come from!
Harvey: I have had a great time over the last eight weeks. The work here is challenging and stimulating. The people at the company are very approachable and it is lovely talking to them in the office. Regular meetings with my career manager have also provided a nice way of keeping track with my progress, and practically everyone I work with has instructed me to let them know if the workload gets too much.
There is a recognisable culture of looking after employees at The PSC, and the people here feel like one big team.
Find out more about how to apply to our internship programme: https://thepsc.co.uk/page/how-to-apply
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