Rahima Bhatti

Our Team – Meet Stuart, Head of Payroll and Pensions

Meet Stuart: Our Head of Payroll and Pensions

What is your current role and what do you enjoy most about it?

My role at Delt is Head of Payroll Services, I joined in 2018 having worked in Local Government.  I started working in payroll many years ago after falling into the profession by chance and have had many roles since.  I can’t imagine doing anything else.

I enjoy the fast paced and ever evolving nature of my work with Delt, it allows me to work with a great group of people to deliver services to our partners and customers.

What do you do on a typical day?

Every day is different.  Some days can involve routine tasks linked to our customers payroll processing such as payments and returns.  Other days can involve checking our performance meets Service Level Agreements and talking to our customers about our services.

Payroll and Pension is an ever-changing world and needs constant monitoring of development and changes to ensure that any changes in our processes or systems are planned and communicated to our stakeholders.

What has been the highlight of your career with Delt so far?

Having work for the company for many years there have been lots of changes and challenges, I enjoy the sense of empowerment to make decision about running my service for the benefit of customers and colleagues.

A few significant highlights would be the introduction of salary sacrifice schemes for pension savings and implementing a facility to earned wages before their normal pay day for our employees.

The biggest highlights have been the ability to add new customers, the scope to invest in my colleagues and see them growing in their roles.

What do you like to do outside of work?

Outside of work I enjoy keeping fit either at the Gym or cycling on my new Electric Bike that I’ve just bought through our Cycle to Work scheme.  I enjoy travelling with my wife (now our two children are adults and do make occasional withdraws from the Bank of Mum and Dad), we are big fans of Greece and Italy, the climate, the people and especially the food.

Stuart Hingston, Head of Payroll and Pensions

Our Team – Meet Chris, Service Desk Team Leader

Meet Chris: Our Service Desk Team Leader

What is your current role and what do you enjoy most about it? 

I’m a Service Desk Team Leader with Delt. What I enjoy most is about the role is supporting the team in their efforts to support our customers.

 

Why did you apply for your role at Delt?

I am a software developer at the core but became disenfranchised with IT in general so left the industry. My partner was working for Delt at the time and Delts core values and reputation were appealing.

 

What does your journey with Delt look like?

I joined Delt in 2021 as an IT Technician. Before this I was a software developer (.NET Framework, C#, C++, Pascal – Now I’m showing my age). In January 2023 I became one of the Senior IT Technicians and carried out the Delt Aspiring Leaders program.

Through this course, I developed the skills necessary to continue my journey and in September 2023 I became one of the Service Desk Team Leaders. In my current role, I support a team of passionate IT Technicians as we support our customers.

 

What advice would you give to someone new joining your team at the start of their career?

We only know what we know, so ask questions and be receptive to feedback.

 

What has been the highlight of your career with Delt so far?

Seeing my colleagues develop and grow with the guidance and support we provide.

 

How would you describe the team culture at Delt, and how does it contribute to your job satisfaction?

The culture at Delt is one of support and doing better. We don’t find blame in failure, instead look for opportunities to succeed.

 

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Outside of work, I enjoy playing tabletop/board/video games, spending time with my partner and our cat, spending time with friends, travelling and turning coffee into code.

 

Chris Bickell-Glazier, Service Desk Team Leader

Blog – The work from anywhere revolution: Does it really matter where you work from?

The Work From Anywhere revolution: Does it really matter where you work from?

My Boss (who is actually quite wise, but we don’t like to tell him that) has always said that work is “What we do, not where we go.”  

He was saying that long before Covid, and lockdowns, and before the era of ‘hybrid working’ and the ‘new normal’ was all anybody talked about.  

As a leadership team, we spend a lot of time discussing how best to manage hybrid working, weighing up the pros and cons, and figuring out how to maintain our culture with most of the workforce at home or spread out geographically.  

We humans are pack animals.  

We need social interaction, and extended periods of alone time are not good for us. We are designed to be mobile, not sedentary. Yet there are vast numbers of us working from home, on our own, in the corner of our spare room, in the dining room, or in a glorified garden shed. 

Is this linked to the increase in mental health issues and the levels of work-related stress? That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? I’m no expert, and I’m not trying to be, but in my opinion, yes, it most definitely is. 

Today, I went to work from Delt’s new Exeter base, currently known as ‘Matt’s office.’ It was my first visit, and I must say I had an enjoyable day. So much so that here I am crafting a blog! Being somewhere new and spending time with people I don’t normally interact with has given me a boost.  

It has re-energised me. 

Engaging in different conversations and sharing different points of view have given me new ideas. We have all got so used to Teams as a way of connecting that we have forgotten how important these basic human interactions are.  

I went for a lunchtime walk around the block with a couple of the Exeter crew, and we discovered a nice café where we agreed Neil could buy us all lunch next time. I found out John is a bit of a petrol head and a gamer. While Helen, happy with her Astra, struggled to zip up her coat due to her growing baby bump. This is unfortunate, as it tipped down with rain on the way back, and we got soaked. 

In the office, I got to know Carey, who was a rebel in her mid-thirties. Matt is very much at home in his new environment and can now cycle to the office. However, Neil does not think it’s funny if we all stand at the glass-fronted office and pull faces while he’s on a Teams call. 

Oh, and many funny tales reminiscing about the ‘good ole’ days when people went drinking at lunchtime! 

It wasn’t all fun and games. I also managed to tackle a good chunk of my to-do list, drafted a new priority summary to guide my focus for the week ahead, and, through discussions with others, formulated a potential cunning plan to create new opportunities for some members of my team. 

The quote for the day was, ‘There seems to be a lot more sass in the office today.’ So, in addition to being energised by a new environment, I’ve brought a change of energy to those adjusting to their ‘new normal.’ I think that’s a good thing, but you would have to ask them to be sure!  

I wonder what would happen if we all did a bit more moving about? Changing the vibe in each other’s working worlds. 

What is the point of all this waffle?

Where we work does matter. 

It impacts us in ways that we don’t really realise. I think what I have discovered today is that what I really need is variety. I need to break my routine and shake it up a bit. There are definitely times that working from the corner of the spare room is absolutely the best place for me to be.  

But our Plymouth Office (B2) is the place where most of my collaboration with colleagues will happen. Although, I am now questioning why I always book the same desk every time, maybe I need to break away from desk 34… 

I think our new Exeter office will be a more regular place for me to work from. I’m also thinking of where else I could go to disrupt my routine, maybe the local coffee shop could be an option for a few hours! 

What’s your new normal? Is it truly the best for you, or just a habit? Consider trying to work from somewhere else for a day.  

Shake up your routine. Sometimes, a change is as good as a rest. Who knows who you might get to know, or how you may change their vibe! 

 

Karen Morris, Chief Financial Officer

NEWS – Innovative GP Cloud Platform Takes Home Prestigious Virtual Care Award at 2024 HSJ Awards

Innovative GP Cloud Platform Takes Home Prestigious Virtual Care Award at 2024 HSJ Awards

26th March 2024, Plymouth, Devon

Devon-based shared services provider, Delt, is excited to announce that its GP in the Cloud (GPitC) platform, developed with partners NHS Devon, Integy, and NASGP (National Association of Sessional GPs), has been officially named as the “Gold” winner in the ‘Virtual Care Project of the Year’ category at the HSJ Partnership Awards 2024, in recognition of an outstanding dedication to improving healthcare and effective collaboration with the NHS.

The same team also won a Silver Award in the very competitive ‘Best Healthcare Provider Partnership with the NHS’ award. The gala ceremony, held at Evolution London in Battersea Park on Thursday 21st March 2024, saw the project team praised for their innovative approach to revolutionising virtual care services.

In presenting GP in the Cloud the Virtual Care Award, judges praised the project team for “working together to set up and deliver a service that enables safe, effective virtual care.”

“It (GP in the Cloud) involved patients in the care plan, equipping them to contribute to their own recovery, and has potential to scale up to meet future care demands.”

The GPitC platform emerged as a response to the GP shortage in Devon, addressing a pivotal challenge in digital primary care innovation. During the Covid-19 pandemic, online consultations transformed GP services, but limitations persisted due to system constraints. To overcome this, Delt collaborated with NHS Devon, cloud computing experts Integy, and the National Association of Sessional GPs (NASGP) to create ‘GP in the Cloud’. This technology enables GPs from anywhere in the UK to conduct consultations remotely, enhancing patient access and practice flexibility.

Thirty-four Devon practices participated in the pilot project, successfully embedding GP in the Cloud. By the end of 2022, it became the standard model across the Devon ICB footprint, delivering thousands of additional clinical hours and cost savings.

Recognising its success, NHS England sought Devon ICB’s blueprint for regional and national rollout, positioning GP in the Cloud for future nationwide availability.

Commenting on the recent win, Dr John McCormick, Chief Clinical Information Officer for Devon ICB, said: “This award is wonderful recognition for a project that brings tangible benefits to GP practices and patients, and a tribute to the organisations that delivered it. Each of the partners involved in GP in the Cloud brings a specialism. It is the combination of these specialisms that resulted in the success of this project. It is an outstanding example of true partnership working and what can be achieved.”

Delt CEO, Giles Letheren, added: “We are incredibly proud of our team and partners for delivering a groundbreaking solution that directly benefits NHS Devon and patients alike. Our joint win highlights the transformative impact of collaboration and technology in driving efficiency and accessibility within primary care settings. To have co-designed and implemented GP in the Cloud, a remote access platform that enables locum GPs to access a patient’s full medical record safely, securely and from any location, without the need to be issued a dedicated laptop, is good, but the bigger victory is in working together. The project itself was made feasible solely due to the willingness of NHS Devon to collaborate effectively with multiple partners. While the win for Virtual Care Project of the year reflects the utility and impact of our platform, we are perhaps even prouder of our silver award for Best Partnership.”

As Delt and their partners celebrate this achievement, they remain dedicated to advancing healthcare service excellence and look forward to continuing their journey of innovation in partnership with the NHS and healthcare providers across the UK.

The winners were selected following a rigorous two-stage judging process ahead of the HSJ Partnership Awards 2024 awards ceremony. The full list of Winners and those Highly Commended for the 2024 HSJ Partnership Awards can be found at https://partnership.hsj.co.uk/winners-2024

Blog – Balancing Act: The Vital Blend of Experience and Subject Matter Knowledge in Project Management

Balancing Act: The Vital Blend of Experience and Subject Matter Knowledge in Project Management 

Watching ‘The Apprentice,’ you might think you need to be a subject matter expert (SME) in everything from bao buns to app development to manage a project. In the real world, is it a help or a hindrance, and how much does a Project Manager (PM) really need to know to successfully manage a project?

 

So, what are the advantages of being a PM and SME? 

The most significant and obvious advantage is understanding what is needed to deliver the work and ensuring efficient communication with the involved teams, and potentially stakeholders too.  

  • Understanding industry specific terminology can help build trust and respect, particularly with specialist roles. For example, knowing that you want to change lamps not bulbs in your light fixtures will certainly earn a few brownie points with your electrical contractor, and setting out clear agreements and clarification on terminology and acronyms helps to avoid many potential issues.
     
  • More than just understanding the conversation, you may also be able to estimate scope and timelines, contribute to solution design discussions, and potentially even take part in the delivery process.
     
  • By asking the right questions, you can provide a level of oversight without the need to defer back to expert resources. This can reduce meeting sizes and, ultimately, costs as resources are deployed more directly in delivery. 

All sounds very positive? 

While there are certainly pros, there are also cons.  

  • The most obvious drawback is the risk of becoming too involved in detailed solutions and delivery, avoiding the urge to Just do it yourself and neglecting other responsibilities as a result.
     
  • This may include overlooking aspects like progress and schedule management, stakeholder engagement, and ultimately, losing sight of developing risks and engaging all parties in your project.
     
  • There is also a risk that in becoming too involved, you may knowingly or otherwise, exert a level of influence over the direction and approach, bypassing potentially better ideas. This becomes even more of a risk if your knowledge of current trends or solutions has lapsed. 

An effective project manager will encourage all team members to contribute to the discussion.  

A lack of subject knowledge can stimulate thought and discussion, enabling the asking of questions and avoiding an unspoken consensus. This challenges the we’ve always done it this way approach, ensuring that the pros and cons are discussed with a risk-benefit analysis of other options duly considered.  

Ultimately, a level of subject knowledge will always be beneficial for a project manager. The optimal amount is best determined by a combination of the specific project requirements and the project manager’s experience. As a project manager gains more experience, the need for initial subject matter knowledge diminishes. They can learn what they need as the project progresses, especially in the early stages. The knowledge acquired can then be applied to create a set of deliverables and success criteria, serving as a guide for reviewing progress on tasks and ensuring successful project delivery.  

For an SME turned PM, remembering to take that step back requires a degree of self-awareness and the use of experience to question and challenge ideas rather than provide the solution directly.  

Releasing control and delegating ownership builds trust and confidence in the team to deliver and is vital to successfully delivering a rounded project and not just a targeted solution. 

 

Alan Greep, Project Manager

Karen Morris – Chief Financial Officer/Executive Director

Karen Morris – Non-Executive Director

Originally from Northamptonshire, Karen moved to Devon in 2003 to be closer to friends and to live near the sea.

Karen joined Delt in 2018. A finance professional with 30 years’ experience in multiple sectors including Formula 1, manufacturing, and retail. She enjoys the challenge of the fast pace of change at Delt and gets a lot of satisfaction from helping people to do amazing things.

When not working she is a fair-weather sailor and loves sailing around the South Coast with her husband.  She also enjoys flower arranging and kick boxing at an amateur level.

NEWS – Delt Shared Services Earns Place on Newsweek’s list of the Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces for 2023

Delt Shared Services earns place on Newsweek’s list of the Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces for 2023 

5th October 2023, Plymouth, Devon

Delt Shared Services today announced that they have been ranked as #9 among 100 UK companies recognised for outstanding employee sentiment and satisfaction. 

Newsweek recently published their annual rankings for the Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces® list, the result of a collaboration with the Best Practice Institute (BPI), a leadership development and benchmark research company.  

The results were determined after surveying more than two million employees from businesses with workforces varying in size from 50 to more than 100,000. The list recognises companies that have created a workplace where employees feel respected, inspired, and appreciated and are at the centre of the business model.  

Giles Letheren, CEO at Delt said: “I’m absolutely delighted that we have been accredited as a Most Loved Workplace, a certification that recognises companies for creating emotionally connected workplaces. I firmly believe that our team is truly exceptional, and our people are our most valuable assets. Our commitment to collaboration, teamwork, opportunities for advancement, and a culture of understanding and respect are some of the reasons why we have earned this recognition. We believe that creating a workplace where everyone can thrive empowers us to collaborate effectively and deliver exceptional results for our customers. This is essential to fulfilling our aim of helping people do amazing things. 

Jane White, Chief People and Culture Officer added: “We are extremely pleased to be recognised by the prestigious Newsweek as #9 on their list of Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces. Delt works hard to ensure that our culture is employee-centric, and this award is a recognition of the hard work we’ve put into gathering employee feedback and taking actionable steps that benefit our employees.” 

 The key areas included in the analysis are based on how well companies demonstrate the areas within the Spark Model as defined by BPI including Systemic Collaboration, Positive Vision of the Future, Alignment of values, Respect, and Killer Achievement. Employee sentiments and emotions indicating how engaged employees are, how positive they feel about their workplace, and how committed they are to the organization’s success were analysed to identify the Top 100 Most Loved Workplaces.  

 “With the rapidly changing workplace and competition for top talent, more companies are recognising the importance of employee engagement and commitment”, said Nancy Cooper, Global Editor in Chief, Newsweek. “The workplaces that have demonstrated a commitment to their employees in 2023 are more likely to attract the best talent and deliver strong business outcomes.” 

 “Fully understanding and acting upon employee sentiment, emotion, and recommendations continues to be a challenge and top priority of executive leadership,” said Louis Carter, CEO of Best Practice Institute. “The companies on this list have committed to listening carefully to their employees to create a workplace employees love.” 

As a publicly owned but privately operated company founded in 2014 by shareholders, Plymouth City Council, and the NHS Devon, Delt is a shared services provider dedicated to providing comprehensive and complex back-office services including Payroll, Finance, IT, Cyber Security, Print and Mail, HR, Estates Management and Management Consulting to public sector organisations in the South West of England.  

To date, the company’s efforts have made a significant impact creating an annual socio-economic gain of nearly £16M in the region. With a presence in over 250 service areas across 400 locations, Delt plays a crucial role in supporting many of the area’s critical services, including NHS trusts, local government, blue light services, and educational institutions.   

 

For the full Newsweek list of 2023’s Most Loved Workplaces, please visit: https://www.newsweek.com/rankings/uks-100-most-loved-workplaces-2023 

 

 To find out more about why Delt was recognised for outstanding employee sentiment and satisfaction, please visit: Delt Shared Services – Most Loved Workplace® 

NEWS – Delt Shared Services and Integy’s Revolutionary GP Cloud Platform is Shortlisted at the HSJ 2023 Awards

Delt Shared Services and Integy’s Revolutionary GP Cloud Platform is Shortlisted at the HSJ 2023 Awards

Devon-based shared services provider, Delt, is delighted to announce that its GP in the Cloud (GPitC) platform, developed for NHS Devon, has been shortlisted in the ‘Digitising Patient Care’ award category at the prestigious Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards 2023. 

The ‘Digitising Patient Care’ award category aims to acknowledge effective initiatives that have harnessed technology and digital systems to enhance patient access to care, enable staff to optimise capacity, and elevate the overall experience and quality of healthcare. 

The GPitC platform effectively addresses a pivotal challenge in the evolution of digital primary care innovations. Amid a GP shortage in Devon, innovative strategies were sought for efficient primary care. Online consultations reshaped GP services during Covid-19, but limits persisted, hindering remote locum use due to system constraints. To address this, Delt worked collaboratively with cloud computing experts, Integy, NHS Devon and the National Association of Sessional GPs (NASGP) to pioneer a groundbreaking technology solution called ‘GP in the Cloud’. 

GPitC enables locums located throughout the UK to conduct patient consultations seamlessly over the internet. This is achieved through a secure cloud-based virtual desktop, preserving a practice’s internal clinical system integrity while granting access to systems required for remote consultations. The outcomes have been noteworthy: substantial cost savings for primary care in Devon, heightened patient care standards, and an enhanced work-life balance for staff. 

Commenting on the recent shortlist, Dr John McCormick, GP and Chief Clinical Information Officer at NHS Devon, said: “We are very proud to be recognised this way. Being shortlisted for in the HSJ Awards 2023 will be a huge boost for our dedicated and hard-working team. 

“GP in the Cloud has been transformative for our local GP practices and made significant improvements to us being able to better meet the demands of our patients at a time that there were huge challenges in accessing local GP services. 

“Being shortlisted for these awards gives us the opportunity to share our success with colleagues from across the entire sector, as well as showcasing everything we’ve learnt through implementing our project.” 

Delt CEO, Giles Letheren, added: “We are thrilled to be involved, along with our partners, in implementing a pioneering solution for the NHS Devon that harnesses technology and digital systems to enhance patients access to care. GP in the Cloud was developed to enable GPs from anywhere in the UK to deliver support to primary care, across multiple clinical systems, without the need for dedicated NHS hardware – enabling staff to optimise capacity, improve experience and most of all the quality of care.” 

As it enters its 43rd year, the HSJ Awards maintain their position as the pinnacle of recognition for healthcare service excellence in the UK. Winners of the HSJ awards will be announced at the award ceremony on 16th November at Evolution London.  

Malcolm Senior – Non-Executive Director

Malcolm Senior – Non-Executive Director

Malcolm joined the NHS in 1997 after a career in Coal Mining and working on the Channel Tunnel Project. His 26 year career in the NHS has mainly been spent as a Chief Information Officer in Acute Hospitals in Torbay and South Devon and Musgrove Park Hospital in Somerset. Between January 2017 and May 2021 Malcolm worked on national Digital Programmes for NHS Digital, based in Leeds and London before joining NHS Devon in June 2021.

Malcolm currently has responsibility for Digital Transformation across the Devon Integrated Care System, with a real focus on increasing the use of digital technology to enable new models of care and improve the experiences and outcomes of care.

Malcolm has three grown up Son’s and enjoys walking in the beautiful Devon countryside, all forms of theatre and travel. He is an avid sports fan, supporting Leeds United FC and Castleford RLFC.

Blog – Military Leadership

Military Leadership

It is Armed Forces Day on the 24th June and many people’s thoughts turn to our military community. I don’t dwell on the past but at this time of the year I do think a little bit more about my own military service. I left the Royal Navy 4 years ago and since then have been lucky enough to be working for Delt Shared Services as their Chief Projects Officer. Delt’s staple diet is the provision of IT managed services to Plymouth City Council, Devon NHS Integrated Care Board, Devon NHS Partnership Trust, and Transforming Futures Multi Academy Trust. We also provide a range of other services such as soft and hard facilities management, print & mail, procurement, finance, payroll and pensions, and, of course, project management. To deliver this wide range of shared services we need staff with various skills, including leadership.

A key skill of being a successful military operator is leadership. In my head, leadership is not a title or a job description it is a state of mind. The young sailor planning their part of ship maintenance, the chef conjuring up another amazing meal for 200 (and there are many other examples) and then working with their team to deliver are just as important leadership roles as the Commanding Officer of a ship, a squadron or a regiment. Young people serving in our military are exposed to leadership and leading from day 1 of their time in uniform.

As an Armed Forces Covenant signatory Delt is proud to support our military community. We hire veterans and use their leadership skills in our business. As we go through our annual performance management reviews, we select staff to attend one of our leadership training courses. In April this year our leadership training culminated with a graduation ceremony at Devonport Hall. Nine staff members completed the course, 4 of them were ex-military and covered all 3 Services. On that day I was immensely proud of all our brilliant Delt staff. Everyone delivered excellent presentations summing up their own personal leadership journey. There were some amazing leadership lessons, a great deal of emotional intelligence displayed and a few tears! It was especially rewarding to see 4 ex Royal Navy, Royal Airforce and Army men and women show how the experience they gained in the military and the lessons they learned during training and on operations allowed them to operate with confidence in a different environment.

Thank you from Delt to all our Armed Forces for your amazing work, and a special shout out to all the veterans working at Delt for your contribution to our success.

 

Gary Pettitt, Chief Projects Officer