Deborah Gouveia, Senior Service Improvement Manager | Humans of Healthcare

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Humans of Healthcare

Welcome to Humans of Healthcare! 

Humans of Healthcare shines a light on the wealth of immense talent we have at the Trust, as well as the diverse and dedicated teams that work in all areas of the organisation.

Deborah Gouveia, Senior Service Improvement Manager

Humans of Healthcare is a regular series from Epsom and St Helier, profiling staff in all areas of the organisation. In this edition Deborah Gouveia, talks through her rise from Saturday staff in Boots to leading system improvements for patients in all our communities and more than 7,000 staff. 

“Pharmacy runs in my family. My grandparents lived in Guyana, South America, where my grandfather, a pharmacist, was known locally as ‘the medicine man’. I thought that sounded really exciting, so when I was 15, I did work experience on the chemist counter at Boots – that's where I met pharmacist Mr Prytherch, aka Mr P.

“I shadowed Mr P that week, and enjoyed it so much they offered me a Saturday job. My parents were unsure, but Mr P explained how good it could be for my future career, and I kept the job. He was so well respected – people trusted ‘the man in the white coat’! I wanted to be just like him.

“I completed the Boots Healthcare Assistance Course, before studying a BTEC in Pharmaceutical Sciences qualifying as a pharmacy technician. I went on to complete a Masters in Pharmacy at Bradford University in 2003, and I eventually joined Epsom and St Helier in 2014 as a pharmacist in the IT Department. In that role I supported the transition from paper to electronic medicine charts, and my interest in project management grew.

 “Now I support colleagues with Quality Improvement work across the Trust, sharing my skills and knowledge. I love being able to improve things for our patients and the organization, especially after the support the Trust has given me to progress my career. 

Epsom and St Helier has enabled my secondment to the Darzi Fellowship with Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group. The fellowship is a nationally-recognised programme, designed to improve healthcare systems, and this saw me complete a postgraduate certificate in Clinical Leadership in 2019. That was amazing in so many ways, not least because Mr P, who I’ve remained friends with, was a representative on one of the committees I was asked to join. It meant so much to be able to attend a meeting as his colleague again.

“I’m really enjoying making transformational changes across the Trust. I’m currently helping implement our transition to electronic handovers for our multi-disciplinary teams, which will make things quicker and clearer for our teams and as a result, better for our patients. This takes in both of our acute hospitals and involves working with staff across all levels. Though I’m now in less of a patient-facing role, I know I am enriching colleagues and making improvements that directly improve things for our patients. 

“If you embrace the opportunities available to you in the NHS there is so much you can do. The support network is amazing: we’re in a caring profession, but it’s plain to see that at Epsom and St Helier, we don’t just care for our patients, but for each other too.”

For more information about Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, visit

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