Paula Garnder Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Paula Gardner, NHS – Reducing costs and delivering patient care as an interim

Nick Ogden, Senior Consultant – Interim Leadership within Healthcare, spoke to Paula Gardner, an NHS Interim Chief Nurse.  Paula is a quality-focused senior nurse with over 40 years of experience and is very passionate about delivering a high-quality patient experience.

Paula shares her experience working as an interim professional:
I decided to go interim off the back of finishing a substantive role, which would have been my third Chief Nurse Post.  I would have been working for 40 years in the NHS, and I felt I wasn’t ready to give up completely but I didn’t want the substantive role anymore.  I felt that I could swoop in, help organisations until they appointed a substantive, and then switch back out again.  So, for me, it was that way of thinking, do I finally want to retire, or have I still got work in me, and therefore working as an interim would give me time to think about that differently.

Paula also shares how she reduced costs for the NHS to remain in financial balance at Oxford University Hospitals Foundation Trust:
We looked at everything in the realm of making sure that we recruited substantively so if we’ve got people in the vacant posts then we don’t need to have temporary staffing. But, also what I wanted to do was to measure if there were any harms, what I didn’t want to have was to have somebody say ‘well we’ve caused harm because we didn’t have the staffing that was required’, so what was their escalation, what was their mitigation, and how did that arrive at the Chief Nursing Officer office?  So, we looked at all of this and made sure it’s been cascaded from senior nurse leaders, right the way through to grassroots on the wards and departments. We’ve done an awful lot to ensure where we’re at, and we’ve now reduced whole-time equivalents and costs in the first month of doing this.

Watch the full interview below:


*For any Interim Leadership recruitment support within Healthcare, please contact Nick Ogden and the team on / 07570 823 100

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