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Spotlight on Staff

Erica Harris Assistant Manager/QA Lead, North Central Thames Foundation School

Royal Free Campus

Erica HarrisTell me about your role I have worked at the NCTFS Foundation School which is based at the Royal Free Hospital for the last 4 years. My tasks include being responsible for the day-to-day management of quality assurance of  Foundation training programmes provided by NCTFS and for the individual monitoring of junior doctors. I co-ordinate regular quality management visits to the 9 hospitals which fall under the auspices of NCTFS.

I ensure regular follow up with each hospital concerning the compliance (or lack of) with report and action plan requirements. This involves considerable amount of contact with Trust Liaison Deans, Directors of Medical Education, Foundation Training Programme Directors (Consultants), Postgraduate Medical Education Centre Managers and Foundation trainee doctors.

What’s your favourite part of your role? I enjoy my interaction with the people mentioned above and get a sense of satisfaction from working closely with these teams to get positive results.  Even after 4 years, I still enjoy learning about the inner workings of hospitals and the challenges that face doctors in the NHS.

What do you find challenging in your role? Trying to co-ordinate busy clinicians. Their diaries are always full and subject to last minute changes!

What did you do before coming to UCL? What’s your work history? I have 10 years of experience in university, voluntary, research and NHS settings.

Before UCL, I worked as an administrator on LEAP (Learning Early about Peanut Allergy ) which was a 7-year paediatric clinical trial investigating the early introduction of tolerance to peanut in high risk children. The study aims to determine whether avoidance of peanut or the early consumption of peanut-containing foods is the best strategy for the induction of tolerance to peanut.  During my post, I recruited 640 babies aged between 4 and 11 months.

I have also done various stints of volunteering, including working for a charity in Belgium for 3 months and working in a homeless shelter in Washington DC. I have also volunteered in homeless shelters in London over the festive period.

What was your favourite subject at school? I loved art. Compared to all my other lessons, my art class was very relaxed. My art teacher was very bohemian and I remember being impressed with her huge collection of silver bangles and rings!

What would your ideal job be (if money was no object!)? I think it would be great if I could have a job which involved being outside, swimming and eating cake!

What do you like to do outside of work? Most of my time is spent either swimming outdoors in heated pools with  friends, playing netball (I am team captain), running or planning my next sport challenge (perhaps a triathlon next year). I also spend a fair amount of time in local pubs in north London with my boyfriend and friends.

Where is your favourite place to eat / drink / walk in London? My favourite place to eat at is at Beas of Bloomsbury. I highly recommend the afternoon tea. It is a lovely place to meet friends and have a good catch-up. My favourite pub is The Red Lion and Sun in Highgate. The food is amazing. Walking – a tough call between Hampstead Heath and Finsbury Park.

What 3 things would you take to a desert island? My swimming costume, a family-sized box of Maltesers and my Fitbit. (It is a device which tracks, steps, distance and calories burned).  Although on a desert island, I would still be aiming to do at least 10,000 steps per day!

Do you have a nickname? My dad, brother and my boyfriend call me “Eri” but everyone else calls me Erica.

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