Jennie Crossan - KHPeople

Jennie CrossanAs a project manager, Jennie brings people together from all across the partnership to help improve healthcare experience and outcomes for patients across South East London and beyond. In this KHPeople profile she highlights some of the exciting projects that she is currently involved in and shares why she thinks partnership working is so important.

What is your role within King’s Health Partners? 

I joined KHP in June 2023 as a project manager working between two of our clinical academic partnerships – Diabetes, Endocrinology & Obesity, and Neurosciences. I work with clinicians and academics across our 4 partner organisations on projects that have the aim of translating research into better care and outcomes for patients.

Some of the current projects I’m working on include: writing a Health Needs Analysis for people with a diagnosis of a severe mental illness and Type 2 Diabetes; developing a clinical academic PhD proposal in Neurosciences to grow our clinical academic community; and embedding service user involvement within our research strategy.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I really value the variety of the work – working across two teams not only means I’m exposed to several clinical areas but also the types of projects I’m involved with can be very different. I very much enjoy working with a range of people, both within my teams and across our four partner organisations which is really helping me to increase my breath of understanding of healthcare. It’s such a privilege to be working with our dedicated and passionate staff and be on the forefront of research and clinical developments. I’ve also had some fantastic new career opportunities in my role – I’m currently co-authoring a systematic review, have recently taken part in my first hackathon and next month I’ll be speaking at the national Diabetes UK conference!

What inspired you to get into this work?

I’m a dietitian by background, with my main specialties being in adult and paediatric weight management and worked in Evelina London Community Services for almost 7 years. I’d already made a bit of a career detour into the world of QI, having moved into a role in the GSTT Improvement team and decided this role would be a great way of consolidating my newly acquired skills with my clinical passion area, with the bonus of also being involved in a field of healthcare that was brand new to me.

I live in South East London and have been working with GSTT for almost 9 years now so was very keen to continue the relationship with my adopted corner of the city – it’s so rewarding to be able to contribute and give back to the community that you’re a part of.

What are the benefits of working in partnership?

They are endless! I’ve always been a big advocate of bringing people together for a common cause, ever since I first joined the NHS and worked in a multidisciplinary cross borough weight management service up in Merseyside. That helped me to see in action how much more successful a partnership based service can be than simply seeing one clinician in isolation.

Of course, partnership means much more than just clinicians working together – bringing in the academic element as we do in KHP adds a whole new powerful dimension as well as the voluntary and community groups, national and international organisations and charities to name but a few that we frequently work with. Most importantly, keeping our patients at the heart of what we do is the most fundamental partnership that we nurture – having those using our services have a say in how they run is absolutely paramount.

What would be your one career top tip?

Stay curious! There are boundless opportunities out there to learn from service users, colleagues and whoever else may cross your path at work so always take the time to listen (really listen!). Ask questions and build relationships. In my experience, most people are only too happy to share their knowledge and experiences and this is what really helps to drive success, whether it be a patient consultation, a project deliverable, some career advice, or whatever context may be of relevance to you. So don’t be afraid to reach out to people – who knows what a good old chat might lead to!