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Meet the Experts – Melissa Ball, Head of NHS

13 April 2022

Please give an overview of your role within Optegra?

My role is all encompassing, covering Optegra’s entire interface with the NHS.

Externally this includes overseeing our relationships with local NHS Trusts and liaising with commissioners. Internally, I have taken on responsibility for the patient pathway for referrals from the NHS. We always strive to offer the best possible service so I am constantly reviewing how our process works and suggesting improvements where needed.

 

What first attracted you to work in this field?

I studied English language and law at university, which doesn’t seem very relevant at all! From there I worked for a local granite company, managing the office. Whilst this developed my people management skills, I was keen to move on in my career. Many job applications later, I joined Optegra!

I began working at the Manchester hospital overseeing NHS administration and spotted a gap in Optegra’s business model at that time – centralising the admin and financials of our NHS services. Realising there was room for improvement in this area, I took on contract management for the NHS side of the business. This ensured that we standardised all contract requirements and were compliant for external reporting.

Eight years later, my self-made role has grown and evolved and I’m proud of what we have achieved as a team.

 

What brings you joy in your work?

Looking back, I can see how far we have come as a business since that germ of an idea eight years ago. We were delivering much smaller volumes of business and are now part of a much bigger NHS operation – the contrast is like night and day. It’s incredible seeing how many patients we are now able to look after.

 

Greatest achievement/proudest moment of your career?

Setting up the contact centre for NHS referrals calls – RMC (Referral Management Centre?) – the central team that handles all our NHS enquiries. Increasing our patient offering and being the catalyst that has enabled us to work with all the NHS Trusts is enormously gratifying, as is the ability to support so many patients over the last few years during what has been a very difficult time for many.

 

What is your perfect holiday?

Actually I have two! I would love to sit on a Caribbean beach with literally nothing to do! But I also love a bit of exploring and getting out in the English countryside and coastal areas – I am not a city person.

 

Favourite recipe?

I enjoy making a proper roast dinner on a Sunday – it’s become my signature meal.

Melissa Ball – Head Of NHS, Optegra
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