External contributor / Patsy Hudson

HFMA mentor

Patsy has had a diverse life and career. Her first career was in nursing and when her children were young, she worked for the Family Planning Association whilst studying for a degree as a mature student. 

Patsy's degree in contemporary studies enabled her to change career and for six years she lectured in government and politics. She then worked for Oxfam in a variety of roles. Patsy was one of Oxfam’s first equal opportunities trainers, the learning and development manager for the Midlands and her last post was as regional retail manager for the SW and South Wales, which is why she lives in Bristol. 

Her last post entitled Patsy to be a member of Oxfam's senior management team, and she believes that this role, plus her MBA (which Oxfam part funded) helped her to gain her first two non executive roles in the public sector. These were as a non-exec director, vice chair and chair of the audit committee of University Hospitals Bristol Foundation NHS Trust Board (nine years) and a member of Avon and Somerset probation board (six years) where she was also a member of the audit committee. 

Currently Patsy is the lay member governance and chair of the audit committee of Bristol Clinical Commissioning Group. For the past 15 years she has also run a mentoring and coaching business working with clients from the private, public and not for profit sectors.

As learning and development manager for Oxfam, Patsy was very aware of the many challenges facing senior managers in the region. She has set up coaching and mentoring workshops to support managers to develop improved working relationships with members of their teams. The feedback and improved performance from both the managers and the team members was very positive. 

When Patsy was first appointed as regional retail manager, she faced many management challenges: both in the team that she had inherited and with her manager. One of Oxfam's then trustees lived in South Wales and was aware of the challenges she faced and he offered to act as a mentor. Patsy found describing a current issue that she was facing and his questioning, and then exploring her options with him, a supportive and helpful process. She appreciated his objectivity, his ability to listen and question and his suggestions and ideas as to how she might address the issue.