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Commercial and International
Innovation Manager, NHS England

Wednesday, 06 December 2023

7 Day Health Service
A great ideal
Can the Government make it work?

Tom Lindley, Commercial and International Innovation Manager, NHS England


Tom Lindley Commercial and International Innovation Manager with NHS EnglandTom has been nursing since 2008 and has quickly moved into management after finding, to his surprise, a particular interest in leadership. A previous NHS Graduate Management Trainee, Tom has recently started a role with the Commercial and International Innovation Team within NHS England as well as being a regional lead and driving force of the second NHS Change Day.


RMN, BMedSci and currently completing year 2 of a 2 year MSc in Leadership and Service Improvement


Health Care Assistant, Student Nurse, Staff nurse, Clinical Lead, Project Manager for the redesign and development of Intermediate Care Services, Consultancy work, NHS Graduate Management Trainee, and Commercial and International Innovation Manager

My Career

Unlike lots of nurses, nursing isn’t something I knew I’d do for years:

“Great news on your GCSE results Tom, really great! A-Levels for you then,” is what every teacher, friend, relative and career advisor said to me during the summer post-GCSEs.

However, if I’m honest, I knew then that A-Levels weren’t for me, and after spending a year of lacklustre efforts, which resulted in me spending some time in Portugal working on a building site it was time to finally pursue something I really wanted to do and I secured a place at the University of Sheffield to study Mental Health Nursing.

After qualifying, I worked as a staff nurse on an adult acute in-patient wards, in several trusts. Surprised by my interest for leadership, around 18 months after I qualified I was offered the post of Clinical Lead, part of the Acute Care Pathway in local services, Nottinghamshire. This inspired me to take up a post working as an Assurance Officer. A great experience that exposed me to a variety of opportunities and experiences that really helped shape the start of my career in NHS Management – joining the Graduate Training Management programme.

During my 15 months on the scheme I have worked as a project manager within a community healthcare provider and spent time at KPMG as a management consultant before joining NHS England as Commercial and International Innovation Manager with NHS England.

What do you like most about your job?

The scheme has given me the opportunity to network and meet some unbelievably inspiring supporters and champions of the NHS and all that it does for us. These have been patients, NHS employees, carers, relatives and people who work for organisations supporting the NHS to help it do what it does best - quality healthcare free at the point of need!

Alongside this, it is working amongst these people and seeing both their and my passion for the NHS that led me to NHS Change Day, a really grass roots social movement that I am proud to now be a part of. If you haven’t heard of it, then you should definitely look it up - See link below. This radical event last year amassed more than 189,000 pledges made by those in the NHS to do something to make a difference, to improve patient care. This year we are aiming for over 500,000 pledges and are well on the way to achieving this – It’s really inspiring to be a part of and I would encourage anyone to get involved!

What advice would you offer?

  • Explore the opportunities in your trusts, there may be more roles than you realise
  • NHS Change Day has taught me, we all have a voice, if you’re not happy about something change it
  • Ensure you always remember your primary role – patient care, every aspect of management feeds back to that

Who offered you the best career advice... and did you take it?

My mum, a nurse herself, was the one who suggested I go down the nursing route and she was right; quickly the mix of practical learning and studying suited me much better and after a few short months in training, I knew it was definitely the right career for me.

Links of Interest

NHS Change Day

Wessex Care Jobs Registered Nurses RGN RMN HCAs Community Support Assistants & Welfare Assistants