Celebrating 35 years at Great Ormond Street Hospital

David Bones, Data Manager, has recently celebrated 35 years of continuous service at GOSH! Here, David reminisces about his time at GOSH and how the hospital has developed since 1983.

“I joined GOSH in 1983. I was part of the Management Accounts team, which was part of the Finance Department. Our offices were in the Frontage Buildings and next to the, now defunct, Royal Bank of Scotland branch, with a view of the Cardiac Wing out the back.”

“The Finance team, including myself, then moved to York(now Barclay)  House and I had a spell in Capital Accounting. One of our main projects was doing corrective work on the Cardiac Wing, which finally opened 3 years late, as well as working on further redevelopment. One of our projects ended up being the creation of the Variety Club Building, which now has 11 wards on it!”

One memorable moment was going to Park Lane to collect a cheque for £1M (worth £3M today) from a donor who funded, in full, the purchase and installation of the Trust’s first MRI scanner.

“While at GOSH, I also went to college for professional training, completing the AAT exams (accounting qualifications). I was then able to go to Southbank University (which was then a polytechnic – an institution for higher education that offers vocational courses) for further financial training and qualifications (ACCA studies).”

“When I first started, everything was on paper. We would send all the paperwork to NETRHA (North East Thames Regional Health Authority) Computer Centre for processing and all our memos were typed by the Secretaries in the team. We used lots of Tippex to update and make adjustments on the account statements!”

“In 1987 we got our first computer in Finance. It had a hard drive that had 6 terminals hard wired to it and took all of Friday afternoon to back up each week. Amazing to think, but it only contained spreadsheet and word processor software!”

 “This was then followed gradually by a separate payment ledger, general ledger and human resource systems, so some of the team had 3 separate “dumb” monitors (a system with no processing ability) on their desks. Despite this we still no spreadsheet, word processor or internet access! In 1999 we got our first financial integrated system (IFS Prophecy), later followed by the current eFinancials system.”

“After spells in Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable in Finance, including one 6 mth period based in the basement of the School of Nursing Building, now the site of Ocean Theatres in the Octav Botnar Building, I moved over to the International and Private Patient Service (IPP) in 2006. This was a year after the service moved to its new home in the Octav Botnar Wing and the Compucare system (a hospital management software) was implemented.”

“Since I started IPP, it’s been a process of expanding how we use the system, the level of reporting achieved and ensuring that we integrate with the hospital’s systems. When the new electronic patient record system (Epic) was announced at the hospital, I took at nine-month secondment to work within the team implementing the new system throughout the hospital. This helped when it came to the ‘Go Live’ date for the IPP team! I spent the weekend helping IPP’s Deputy General Manager ensure that everything switched over successfully and all patients were accounted for when the first full working day started.”

“GOSH has always been a good place to work. An ex-colleague once remarked that they stayed in touch with people at GOSH, because everyone is prepared to work together and help each other solve problems, so that we all learn, rather than see a problem and use it against a colleague.”

“GOSH has always looked to the future, developing and extending how we use computers, which is great because I’m really interested in computing. This has let me remain interested and involved, compared to friends in Outer London hospitals who comment that ‘nothing has changed in over 10 years.’”

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