A day in the life of Olympics Operations Manager

A day in the life of Olympics Operations Manager

Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA

Felicity Canning is divisional operational manager at Homerton hospital, the hospital for athletes and Olympic officials. She explains what her role involves on a day-to-day basis

As London gears up for the Games, how is a nearby NHS hospital getting ready? Homerton’s Felicity Canning explains.

I get up at 6.30am and cycle into work from Crouch End; I aim to get in for 8am. Each day starts differently but there are some things which I always do. This usually involves checking on site issues and that the hospital is in a position to carry on with business as usual for that day.

I check in with the night team to see if there’s anything that we need to be updated on, and they report on anything they think might impact on the hospital’s services that day. This could be staff travel, patient transport, or something that could affect the day-to-day running of the hospital.

Each morning I produce a short report for NHS London with an update on our operational status and any issues that may have come up. The trust has to report to NHS London on a daily basis, so it is important we can communicate any problems that may affect the operational running of the hospital.

My role is to make sure that whatever happens at the hospital doesn’t impact upon our services during the Olympics. Prior to the role I worked as a general manager at the hospital, so I have good overall knowledge of the NHS, the trust, and how it runs.

I started my role in September but our operations system for during the Games only started this Monday. So far we’ve had no problems. Some people have had slight delays coming into work, but nothing major has come up yet.

The latter part of last year involved running the program board to ensure that we are prepared for the Olympics. We’ve been making sure that we’ve been adhering to planning laws and that we are running the hospital coherently alongside other Olympic projects.

Homerton is the official hospital for athletes competing in the Games and Olympic officials. As well as planning for “business as usual” during the event, we’ve also had to ensure that we’re running service pathways for athletes and officials without disruption to the rest of the hospital.

Athletes visiting the hospital during the Games have slightly different requirements. When we do treat them we need to do so efficiently as possible so we can get them back to the Olympic village as quickly as we can.

I’ve got tickets to see the Paralympic cycling, equestrian events and athletics , so am looking forward to sneaking away to catch some of that; the Games are a great opportunity to see some excellent events. Like most of London I’m excited to see it all beginning to happen after looking forward to it for such a long time.

I usually finish my day between 6 and 7pm, although part of the arrangements for Homerton being the official Games hospital is that there will be a senior manager on site 24 hours a day so I will being staying over at the hospital some nights.

After work I like to unwind with family and friends to forget about work. Before I go to sleep I usually think through everything that’s happened during the day and make a mental check of things that I need to do the next day.

The hospital is well-prepared for the Olympics and I’m excited that they are now here; it’s a hugely exciting opportunity to be part of such a momentous event.

And what will I do after the Games? Go on holiday!

Interview by Jessica Fuhl

Guardian Professional.

To learn more about career in operations management here is a link to our recent article on MBA and its effect on earnings vs experience.