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Course studied: BA (Hons) Business Studies

United Kingdom
Equality and diversity are key to my role in ensuring that people with rare diseases get good access to healthcare, regardless of their background

More about Bernie

Throughout her inspiring career, Bernie, Commissioning Manager for Highly Specialised Services at NHS England, has been responsible for transforming the healthcare services we access both in the East Midlands and nationally.

An NHS Commissioning Manager is responsible for leading the design and ensuring the smooth running of health services available in a particular area of the UK, making sure that those who need access to care get the best possible service.

Bernie is the national commissioning lead for 23 highly specialised health services in the Women and Children Programme of Care. Her areas of responsibility include life changing diseases such as cancer, as well as neurology, neurosurgery, foetal medicine and paediatric medicine and surgery.

When asked about the highlights of her career so far Bernie shared:

‘[My] NHS highlights, are designing and implementing a number of new services including multiple sclerosis management services for children in England, Inherited White Matter Disorders (All Ages) for England, NI, Wales and Scotland, hand transplant surgery as well as national operations oversight and assurance of 23 rare diseases, mostly for children.

Also at a regional level... I set up a number of clinical networks to ensure high quality care including adult critical care.’

In 2020, as the Covid pandemic took hold, Bernie was also key to getting vital medical monitoring equipment into the homes of ordinary families with rare diseases.

Bernie’s work has always been characterised by strategic excellence and an appetite for innovation through collaboration with teams involved in front line care. She enjoys a challenge, believes in fairness, and thrives on giving disempowered people the opportunities to be heard and nurtured.

Bernie has always been passionate about helping people, and that commitment exemplifies the spirit of the NHS.

Bernie’s career begin in consumer goods and progressed into marketing and PR for an accountancy firm. During this role, she began working with the NHS for the first time and loved what they were trying to achieve

Alongside her role at the NHS, Bernie chooses to give her time and expertise to current NTU students as an Alumni Fellow. We asked her about her motivations for doing this:

‘It sounded interesting and fun – it has been. I have been involved in interviewing and mentoring students, supporting project teams, and talking about project management to many students over the last six years. ‘

‘Seeing students I have been mentoring graduate and get great jobs, but also seeing their confidence bloom to enable them to do that  have been my highlights.’

Looking to the future,Bernie acknowledges that access to care and support is not a privilege that everyone enjoys equally. She has dedicated her career to ensuring that people with rare diseases can secure the standards of care and support they deserve.

She says that her future plan is to ‘keep developing new services for people who currently don’t get specialist support. Equality and diversity are key to my role in ensuring that people with rare diseases get good access to healthcare, regardless of their background’

Bernie is a truly inspirational alum and her commitment to improving lives ensures that we are in good hands.

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