Lisa’s career change goes from nuclear to NHS

As career changes go Lisa Drake’s journey takes some beating.

Lisa was just 17 when took a clerical job at the Cumbrian nuclear site at Sellafield and stayed there for 14 years.

“I did a lot of work around change management in my final years at Sellafield and that’s something I’ve taken into a second career in healthcare,” she said.

“I decided I wanted a job that really meant something to people and that’s how I came to work in the NHS; I did an Open University degree at the same time.”

In the subsequent 17 years Lisa has held a succession of roles in the NHS including as a practice manager at a rural GP surgery and a locality commissioning manager at NHS Cumbria Commissioning Group.

However the mother of two grown up sons quickly realised that huge sections of the NHS weren’t embracing technology fully and that’s when she found her calling in life.

“One thing I learnt early on was how tech could enhance the NHS but some people in the NHS were still happy walking around with paper folders,” she recalled. “A lot of people still don’t understand how to use the basics of everyday solutions like Microsoft 365.”

In 2010 she became the practice manager at Cumbria’s Seascale Health Centre and said her eight-year stint at the GP surgery only strengthened her views about offering online services alongside traditional methods of seeing a GP.

“Seascale Health Centre covered 350 square miles and 5,700 patients,” she recalled. “When I joined in 2010 we had six partners, but General Practice has been struggling for some time with recruitment and retention and we had to think of different ways to deliver services.

“As practice manager you have to have a good general knowledge of everything and my job meant I was working with patients, staff and doctors.

“I was able to see the opportunity that technology presented in making GP practices and the NHS run more effectively.

“I decided to focus on helping practices to offer more services online and I got to see a variety of ways that by improving the process, tech could also help.”

Lisa describes her perfect day as beach walks with her dogs but says her perfect job is working as a digital advisor with Redmoor Health.

In 2018 she met Redmoor’s founder Marc Schmid and said the pair had an ‘instant rapport’. She added: “It was a meeting of minds. We were both committed to helping patients and practice staff.

“Redmoor is the perfect job for me because I get to see the range of issues from all angles. I enjoy the discussions with NHS policy-makers and commissioners, at the same time I also understand things from the perspective of frontline health staff and how changes affect patients too. I’ve walked in their shoes, so I can often see how to improve in a number of ways.

“There’s such a can-do attitude at Redmoor Health and it’s great to be part of team of problem solvers. Everything we do starts with the patients and practice teams, taking them on the journey with us.”


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