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My CUH Story – Tracey McClelland

Tracey McClelland is one of our divisional directors of operations for division B at CUH. She originally trained at CUH in 1983, becoming a registered nurse in 1986. Here Tracey tells us more about the 40 years she's worked with us.

Tracey McClelland

What is your name and your role in our hospitals?

Hi, my name is Tracey McClelland and I am one of two divisional directors of operations for division B which comprises of cancer, labs, genomics and imaging, as well as clinical support including outpatients, pharmacy, therapies and dietetics, medical physics and clinical engineering.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The great team I work with, and the variety of projects the role allows me to be involved in.

Tracey McClelland nurse training group photo from 1984
Tracey McClelland nurse training set photo 1984. Tracey is bottom row second from right.

Tell us a bit about your CUH journey.

I trained at Addenbrooke's as a nurse from 1983 becoming an registered nurse in 1986. I worked as a staff nurse and junior sister in medicine and surgery, then becoming the senior sister of the medical assessment unit. From there I became a matron in medicine, also doing a 6 month secondment into an operational role. I then acted up into the divisional head of nursing role in medicine before moving to the same role, but substantively, in division B when the divisional structure changed.

When the division’s associate director of operations went on a secondment I acted up into her role, then when she left I was appointed to the role substantively. I have benefited hugely from applying for and taking up secondments, trying out new roles and gaining experience that way.

During my time at CUH I’ve been lucky enough to be supported to complete my degree and then masters in Healthcare Management. I have also been able to volunteer in Botswana and the Philippines with Cambridge Global Health Partnerships (opens in a new tab) (CGHP), something that I feel has really enhanced my development.

Both my children were born at the Rosie, so CUH has played a huge part in my life both professionally and personally. I’m proud to work here.

What does a usual day look like for you?

There isn’t really a 'usual' day as my role is so varied. Things the day could include are checking on bed and emergency department situation and admissions, emails and financial approvals, meetings about diagnostic performance, HR and new build projects including Cancer Research Hospital, incident management, budgets and business planning, one to ones; also things like problem solving and decision making.

Tell us about a case study/experience at CUH that really stands out to you.

Being supported to volunteer with Addenbrooke’s Abroad, (now CGHP) in Botswana and later in the Philippines. This hugely supported my development. I came back with not only an increased knowledge of healthcare systems in other countries but a renewed appreciation of the resources we have in the NHS - staff, knowledge, training, estates and equipment. I have been a member of the CGHP Committee since, supporting and promoting volunteering to healthcare professionals at CUH and helping with organising visits from overseas teams.

Tracey McClelland in 1997
Tracey McClelland 1997

How do you feel your role benefits our patients?

My role as part of the divisional leadership team is to co-ordinate the delivery of the operational performance of the division. This includes the delivery of high quality patient care, corporate and clinical governance, patient safety, clinical quality and achievement of operational and financial targets. I also lead the business planning and implementation of the Trust’s corporate objectives within the division alongside the divisional director, Hugo Ford .

In simple terms it is often about managing approval processes and signing things off like staff forms, orders to make sure that our patients get the care and equipment they need in a timely way, but that this happens within the allocated budget. Sometimes it is about making a financial case for more resource if we feel that patients are not getting the care they need. Another divisional director of operations role is conducting disciplinary hearings in a way that supports patient safety and staff experience.

I’d like to think that in whatever role I’m in I still make a difference for patients.

What is the most notable thing that has changed at CUH in your time working here?

Campus growth. When I joined, the old Addenbrooke’s site on Trumpington Street in central Cambridge was still open and I did a training placement there on Griffith ward. The F&G wards were new and the Rosie was being built. There were no J K L M wards, and so on. We only had one general shop, the bank and a canteen, but the Frank Lee centre was there!

What is the most notable thing that has changed in your profession/career in the years you’ve been working here?

My nurse training was not a degree course, we were on the wards most of the time after six weeks in school. As third year student nurses we were left in change of wards overnight when the registered nurse went on their break! Wards were of course less acute but still very busy.