Gillian Elliot-Hardman

I was brought up on a council estate in small town called Colne in Lancashire, where I was one of 6 children and the eldest girl.

As you can imagine there were limited opportunities, hence why I was the only child who went to university. I was one of only 3 girls on this degree and I graduated with a BSc Degree in Business Computing and followed this up with a Postgraduate Degree in Teaching and spent several years as an IT Tutor, teaching IT literacy skills to young adults at Burnley College and then moved to a career in IT Service Management.

My mother died suddenly when I was 27, this left me absolutely devastated. Whilst on bereavement leave, I was called in and told that I must return to work, I wasn’t given any support during this difficult period, my work declined, and I was demoted. This proved to be a turning point for me, and I knew that this wasn’t how you treated people and within a few months I had left. I then embarked on a number of IT Service Management roles in various large corporate organisations gaining valuable IT knowledge and experience, working with many different technologies and was fortunate to have been given some amazing guidance and leadership at this stage in my career. Ever since I has used this experience as the blueprint for the type of leader I want to be.

I joined NHS Digital just over 6 years ago as a Senior IT Service Manager initially working in Secondary Care supporting the IT systems, this is where I was first introduced to the world of data, working closely with our Data Services Directorate managing a diverse team across a number of different IT data services.

When the pandemic hit, the Data Operations Team were immediately thrust into a change of direction from focussing solely on the support of secondary usage data, to flowing data direct to services that are integral to Patient Care. The last 12 months have seen me promoted to the Service Lead position where I’ve taken a more strategic role in leading the Live Services Data Operations Team analysing the end-to-end delivery and support of the IT & Data services including data collections, dataflows, data processing, and dashboards and the impact future technology will have on these and how we prepare as an organisation.