In this episode, Jack chats to Paul Bytheway, Chief Operating Officer at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and President of St John’s Ambulance.
A Midlands boy who’s always called Wolverhampton home, Paul talks about moving to London to find the person who he wanted to be after coming out as gay at 21, and how he found the big city both exciting and overwhelming. Paul is very passionate about working for the NHS, discussing a sense of family, belonging, and make a difference in other people’s lives. From the age of 14, Paul decided he wanted to be the real-life Charlie Fairhead (of Casualty fame) and be a nurse – he is still a registered nurse to this day and speaks incredibly highly of that profession.
From school, Paul has always been naturally drawn to leadership roles – being a librarian, prefect and chair of the school council. Outside of school, he was also a leader, and involved in activism and charity he was vice-chairman of the British Youth Council, actively engaging with MPs and advocating for the rights of young people, as well as junior chairman of St John’s Ambulance – an organisation he is still proud to be involved with today as president. Paul emphasises engagement, involvement, resilience and being visible as a leader – qualities he also uses to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, particularly within the NHS.
This episode is sponsored by Just-R.