Stepping up 

October 6, 2017

Laura Farley is the business development manager at Spire Washington Hospital. She joined the business in April 2016, after ten years in the marketing department at Sunderland-based housing provider, Gentoo. Here, Laura tells North East Times about her career so far, and making the step to a more senior role in a new sector

What did you want to be when you were growing up? 

To be honest, I was never sure. I loved working and interacting with different kinds of people and understanding how businesses operate has always interested me.

What qualifications do you have? 

I completed my degree in applied management in December 2015, as well as undertaking various business management qualifications. But I think it’s just as important these days to have work experience, as well as qualifications. People management and understanding how to deal with problems can’t be learned through qualifications; this comes from experience and your approach to getting the best out of people.

What attracted you to your current role? 

I was ready for a change of sector and a new challenge. Moving from a housing association (Gentoo), where I had been for nearly 10 years to a healthcare provider was a big change, but I absolutely love the variety my new role brings. I’ve enjoyed meeting new people and

learning how everything is done. No two days are ever the same at the hospital. One day I can be working on bringing a new service to the hospital, and the next, I could be having a meeting with one of the consultants about growing their practice. There is still a lot for me to learn, and by working with my colleagues at Washington and the wider Spire Healthcare Group, I will be able to build on my understanding and knowledge of the healthcare sector.

What is your remit in your current role? 

I oversee the business development team, which is made up of a marketing co-ordinator, GP liaison officer, and a team of customer service advisors. Day-to-day I work on developing new services, overseeing the marketing strategy, and working on consultant engagement. I work alongside our seven-strong business development team to ensure we are promoting the services effectively, and in a timely manner. I also work as part of the wider senior management team that involves change management, developing strategies, and ensuring the smooth running of the hospital.

During your career, have you noticed a shift in more females now holding senior roles? 

I was very fortunate in my role at Gentoo to work with a great female manager for ten years, and I have followed suit in my role at Spire. Over half of the senior management team at the hospital is female. It’s great to see how women can hold senior roles, while balancing home life.

Spire Healthcare 
0191 448 9614

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