NHS Graduate Management trainee achieves highest mark in the world

A trainee on the NHS Leadership Academy Graduate Management Training Scheme has beaten off stiff competition from more than 4,500 candidates to be awarded the top prize in the world for a financial exam.

Patrick O’Brien, 28, from St Werburghs in Bristol, joined the scheme run by the Academy in 2010 on the Finance Programme. As part of his training, he recently sat the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) F3 Financial Strategy exam and achieved the highest mark in the world for the paper beating 4,764 candidates worldwide.

And to add to this exceptional success, Patrick was also recognised as achieving the ninth best place in the world for the average mark at the overall strategic level of the professional qualification. To be among the top ten in the world is widely regarded as an outstanding achievement.

The Academy’s Graduate Management Training Scheme is a comprehensive training programme that aims to equip graduates with the skills and expertise needed to become successful leaders in the NHS. The scheme boasts an alumni that includes three out of the last four NHS Chief Executives, including the current NHS Chief Executive, Sir David Nicholson.

Challenging work placements and educational components enable the graduates to learn about the NHS and develop the confidence required to lead the ongoing transformation of NHS services.

Patrick, whose fiancée Anna also works in the NHS, has taken up various finance-related placements within University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust as part of his training. These include time in financial accounts, management accounts, divisional finance and a spell in financial planning where he is currently working. As part of his placement, he has also worked for KPMG as an advisor.

Commenting on his success, Patrick who is getting married in September, says: “It’s a really good feeling to know I got the highest mark in the world. I worked very hard for the exams and it seems to have paid off, but I would never have had the chance to achieve such a good mark without the help of my managers at work who supported me and allowed me the time to prepare properly for the exams.”

Patrick’s experience before starting the NHS Leadership Academy Graduate Management Training Scheme was as a continuous improvement manager for a large branded packaging company and prior to that, as a recruitment consultant.

He adds: “I finish the scheme at the end of March and ideally would like to continue working for the NHS. I’ve really enjoyed my time at University Hospitals Bristol and feel very lucky to have had the experience.”

Jan Sobieraj, Managing Director at the NHS Leadership Academy, says: “Patrick’s success is truly outstanding and a testament to the quality and calibre of individuals that our schemes attract. Our vision is to develop outstanding, world class leaders in health in order to improve people’s health and their experiences of the NHS. We wish Patrick every success in his career moving forward.”

The NHS Leadership Academy is a national organisation created to develop outstanding leadership in health to improve people’s health and their experience of the NHS.

For more information about the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme visit www.nhsgraduates.co.uk