Ian Ralph

Job Title

Workforce Intelligence Business Partner

Where are you based?

At our offices and home-based

Is your role clinical or non-clinical?


Why did you decide to join the NHS?

I love its purpose – I wanted to feel proud when I told my kids at the dinner table what I’d done that day.  My wife works in the NHS and so I already knew it would be a great place to be.

How did you come to work in the NHS?

I began working for the NHS in summer 2022. I’d spent 20 years working in market research agencies on behalf of companies like Nokia, PayPal and Microsoft. Most recently I’d worked as Board Director at a research company in Winchester, which I took voluntary redundancy from to home-school my children during the pandemic. My life before involved travelling around the world and helping these companies gain insights about their customers. Although I came from a commercial background and not a public sector one, I had strong research and people skills which are used in my role today.

What’s your day to day like?

There’s no typical day, which is a good thing. There will be regular tasks I need to complete for local and national NHS reports, and I’ll be working closely with teams across the organisation on various requests. We’ll also be focusing on what the Trust needs going forwards in terms of workforce intelligence and how we can support teams to understand and use the data.

Briefly explain your job

I’m responsible for the way we report public intelligence about our workforce  – I bridge the gap between the data we have and how it’s brought to life in a way that helps our Board make decisions. Ultimately, it’s about us gaining insights to help us create the best environment for our people, where they are happy and perform their best.

What do you love about your job?

The people I get to work with – they’re amazing and everything we do is focused on the very best outcomes for patients.  The diversity of teams I work with is great – whether it’s mental health, primary care, children’s teams – they all need the same thing but have specific requirements to their specialisms. Knowing that what I am doing has an impact on patient care is very rewarding.

What is challenging about your role?

Trying to unpick what’s gone before. The NHS has existed for a long time; when you’re looking at data insights and analytics, it’s important to find the right blend of consistency so you can look at trends over time but then be confident enough to change things when there is a clear benefit to be made by taking a fresh approach. This is very different to my private sector roles where often change is made for change’s sake.

What would you say to a young person thinking of joining the NHS?

It might take a while to have an impact, but stick with it, because you a make a great impact for so many people.

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