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Building a database of NHS expertise: my Mtech Access internship

By 24/08/2020 No Comments
Building a database of NHS expertise - my Mtech Access internship

Lauren Cheetham-Birmingham shares experiences from her 8-week internship with Mtech Access, where she worked remotely with our NHS Insights & Interaction team between June and August 2020 to build a database of our NHS Associates’ experience and expertise.

Why did you apply for the Mtech Access NHS Insights & Interaction internship?

I am motivated to learn more about the NHS and the healthcare sector as I have a real interest in the healthcare sector of law, where I would like to pursue a career. I was offered this opportunity through the Santander internship scheme with my university, the University of York.

I was really excited to see a company that worked so closely with the NHS offering an internship opportunity, so I proceeded to apply and was selected after a competitive process. I was surprised and enthusiastic that Mtech Access considered applicants from humanity degrees, like my own English and History degree, and later discovered that their own employees come from a hugely diverse range of degree backgrounds, from science and economics, to statistics and business.

It has been invaluable to me to be able to be so engaged with current healthcare-related issues and hear the insights of senior NHS stakeholders and my Mtech Access teammates. I believe this experience has equipped me with new skills and knowledge, and I am now even more excited to pursue a career aligned with the healthcare sector.

What key projects did you get involved with?  

One of the main priorities for my time at Mtech Access was to correspond with the company’s network of Associates in the NHS to update contracts and develop detailed records of their experience and areas of expertise, so that colleagues across Mtech Access would be able to easily find the right expert for their diverse portfolio of projects.

I was given the opportunity to research the hugely varied sectors of the NHS in which Associates are involved and to assist in some more detailed disease-related research. I found this fascinating. The range of different expertise and experience across the Associates meant that each research task I could get involved in was unique and exciting, and allowed me to explore a huge variety of components of the healthcare industry and NHS in just the short eight weeks I was working for Mtech Access.

In order to establish a clear record of the expertise and role experience of each NHS Associate working with Mtech Access, I constructed a detailed survey providing insight into their job history and experience with different diseases and treatments, before creating a very practical and usable database to display the information gleaned. In the future, this database will allow Mtech Access to assess more easily who will be the best Associate to assist on a given project and be more aware of the extent of the vast expertise they can offer to clients.

Parallel to this, I focused on exploring ways to create an innovative and highly functional platform of communication between the NHS Associates and Mtech Access. This will help ensure that Associates can be contacted quickly and efficiently to provide their valuable insight and allow for all Associate communication to take place in a centralised platform. I explored three different options on the market that could provide Mtech Access with these services and created a detailed report on how these platforms could be innovated to best serve the needs of Mtech Access. Additionally, I created a price comparison of each option after contacting each of the sales teams for the respective platforms. This research and platform construction was complete within four weeks of my starting at Mtech Access and I was then given the opportunity to present each platform, including a live demonstration of each specific feature I had tailored to Mtech Access, to director level. This was an exciting opportunity to build my presentation skills and I feel it was really productive to be able to receive so much feedback at the halfway point of my internship.

Moving forward, I was then tasked with setting up the chosen platform, to ensure it included the relevant functions needed to meet Mtech Access’ specific requirements. I also created a detailed and clear User Guide and Administrator Guide to communicating through the platform. This will ensure that both Mtech Access and Associates using the platform will be able to communicate easily and effectively in the future. I hope that it will guarantee Associates can offer their valuable insights really easily through this great method of communication.

How has your internship supported your own personal development and career pathway?

Throughout my time at Mtech Access, I have also been given the opportunities and resources to conduct independent research to further my personal development. I have been hugely supported by the NHS Insights and Interaction team, with colleagues regularly providing resources published by the NHS for me to learn from or signposting me to really engaging information about the healthcare industry.

Further to this, I was able to watch a series of Webinars on how COVID was impacting the NHS  presented by Mtech Access during the summer, which were informative and gave me the chance to learn many new things.

What did you most enjoy about your internship?

I particularly enjoyed having the opportunity to sit in on meetings with Associates in the NHS and with contacts within the pharmaceutical industry to hear their unique insights myself. I have been able to really advance my knowledge of how the NHS and the healthcare industry operate, as well as more specifically on the development of the Integrated Care Systems within the NHS and some individual diseases I conducted research into.

Overall, I was thrilled to be a part of Mtech Access for my eight-week internship and felt extremely lucky to be offered such exciting opportunities whilst still a student. I really enjoyed meeting everyone within the team and felt fully supported throughout my time with them despite having to work remotely due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

I am looking forward to using my knowledge of the healthcare industry and the world of work moving forward in my career. I hope to work with Mtech Access again in the future and would definitely recommend the experience I have had to anybody interested in the healthcare sector.

Lauren returns to her studies at the University of York in September, where we wish her all the best. If you’d like to know more about the opportunities we offer for students and recent graduates please email For more information about our network of Associates across the NHS and how their insights support our clients’ projects please email

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