Helen Spence

Helen Spence, Evidence and Engagement Management, Specialist Business Intelligence

As a long-term user of the NHS, Helen knows more than most about how the health services work. That knowledge, along with her experience as an NHS librarian has proven valuable in her role as Evidence and Engagement Manager in the Specialist Business Intelligence Team at NEL CSU.

After obtaining her degree, Helen went to work in a library, which in turn inspired her to do her Masters.

"My parents were librarians so I knew what it would be like. There was a job at Great Ormond Street Hospital and I started there as a library assistant in their hospital library. I liked finding information for people and I liked searching for articles and research to answer clinical questions."

A role with the Health Intelligence Unit attached to three primary care trusts led her to the CSU when her job transferred here. These days she uses electronic sources of information to support CSU colleagues and CCG clients. More and more CCGs are looking at evidence to add greater insight to their commissioning decisions, she says.

Our Specialist Business Intelligence team helps customers manage budgets, plan for the future, identify issues and evaluate the impact of commissioning decisions on patients, local populations and service providers and incorporates people from many different professional backgrounds.

"We had a CCG ask us to gather evidence on re-commissioning community paediatric services," Helen says. “We helped them to look at what other services were doing in order to produce a service specification that was more outcomes based. Some of the information our team gathers is extremely technical so I work with the communications team to tell colleagues and customers about our work in a way that is easily understandable."

Helen says she is drawn to public service. "This is a good organisation to work in. It’s interesting and a great team."

Helen Spence