Last week, St George’s announced that Dr Jane Evans, Consultant in General Medicine, would shortly be taking up the role of Divisional Chair of our Medicine and Cardiovascular Sciences division.

Jane will take over the role in the coming weeks from Dr Lisa Pickering, who is moving to a new position at the Royal Marsden. This week, we quickly caught up with Jane to talk about her new role, and why she enjoys working at St George’s.

What do you like about working at St. George’s?

I’ve always had a great passion for this organisation, having spent time as both an undergraduate and post graduate here. I suppose that makes me St George’s through and through!

Like many people, I like the fact that St George’s combines the friendly, family feel of a smaller hospital with the scale and expertise of a teaching hospital. I hope we always retain that, because I think it is quite unique.

We’ve had ups and downs as an organisation, but I definitely feel that, in recent years, we are really putting the patient at the centre of what we do – and this is big plus for me as I take on this new role.

What excites you about the role of Divisional Chair?

I’ve been in clinical leadership roles since 2011, so in one sense it is a natural step.

I am excited about this role because it gives me an opportunity to get involved in the bigger picture – both in and outside the organisation. As Divisional Chair, I also like the idea of working with new services, who I don’t typically interact with – so I can learn new things as well.

It’s important for me that I keep my clinical duties, mainly because I love doing it, but also because it means I understand what is happening ‘on the ground’, and how the big decisions the Trust is taking, which I will be closer to, are impacting on patients and staff.

What are your own personal experiences of the NHS?

I feel like I’ve spent most of my life in hospitals! When I was six months old, my father was involved in an accident on his way to work, in which he broke his back, meaning he was paralysed for the rest of his life. So both he – and our whole family – spent years in and around hospitals, including at the Atkinson Morley Hospital.

I think it was this experience that made me want to go into medicine. I remember thinking that the doctors and nurses had all the answers – and I didn’t – so I wanted to be like them! I am pleased to say that although some things happened which were not ideal, in general my dad had a really positive experience of the NHS, despite the seriousness of his accident. He was eventually able to return to work as an analytical chemist, which was only possible because of the support given to him by both the health service, and his employer.

The NHS offers so much more now than it did when my dad needed it – but the values are still the same.

What do you like doing outside of work?

I really like a challenge basically, and something to aim towards! I’ve done charity bike-rides, taken part in short story writing competitions with my friends and also try to take part in high intensity interval training three times a week. It’s my way of winding down!