Staff Choice Awards 2018/19
Unsung Hero Award (Non-Clinical)

Sahra Smith

Has been shortlisted for this award

Job title
Information Governance Manager 
Information Governance Services 

The nomination said...

In May 2018, the biggest single change in data protection law for a generation came into effect with the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This meant that the Trust needed to be ready for this change despite challenges from a lack of governmental and national NHS guidance.

As a Band 6, Sahra was seconded to be the project resource to plan, develop and manage the implementation of this new legislation; this was a programme of work that was delivered in 25 separate projects accountable to the Senior Information Risk Owner. These projects were delivered in such a way that the majority of staff have not been affected by the change and we remain fully compliant with the new laws.

Sahra had to lead the review of our information sharing agreements as the law was changing to make sure this remain lawful and this involves working with multiple partner organisations.

On the face of it, GDPR to staff was a series of communications and a couple of new forms. The complexity and effort that got us to a place whereby it came across that easily was staggering.

The Trust’s approach with Sahra leading the vanguard was exemplary. At no time, did I have any concern that we would fail; we discussed the biggest challenges, parked others until things got a little clearer and, importantly, kept senior management briefed.

Sahra’s leadership as the programme manager cannot be underestimated. Learning new skills, informing more senior staff and keeping things under control was an example to all. Without Sahra’s efforts, GDPR would not have happened as easily for the Trust, exposing us to challenges of bad practice and lack of compliance in a new and complex area that is important to our staff and service users alike.

Substitute GDPR for the biggest single change in a generation in your area of work and allow one member of staff who is not a project manager to lead on this with little project support resource shows the enormity of the work done.

What we have learned and implemented for GDPR has continued to keep the Trust placed at the heart of IG thinking in our region. Sahra was instrumental in maintaining this status. The quality and scale of work achieved was of the highest standard, done with great endeavour, on time and on budget.