Dr Paul E Shannon MBChB FRCA MBA
Paul is 51 years old, married to Anne-Marie for 25 years, with two children.
Highly-qualified and experienced consultant anaesthetist and medical leader at local, regional and national levels. “I recognise the crucial importance of leadership in effecting change and am constantly learning from diverse networks, including this one! My vocation is eloquently expressed in my alma mater’s motto (Leeds University Medical School):
“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” (Matt 10:8)
As a Consultant Anaesthetist Paul has wide experience of working on the frontline of the NHS (National Health Service, the UK’s nationalised healthcare system). He is also involved in managing change in the health service and was a National Clinical Lead for the Choose and Book Programme of NHS Connecting for Health (the NHS’s £6.2 billion IT programme). Paul is a registered Health Informatics Professional.
Paul was Medical Director for CSC, a large IT services company, provding clinical leadership and expertise for the NHS’s IT programme. He was also Medical Director at Nations Healthcare Ltd, an Independent Sector Treatment Centre (ISTC) provider, then worked as Divisional Clinical Director (Family Services) at Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, responsible for a budget of £36m ($50m). Currently, he also works clinically as a Consultant Anaesthetist.
In 2003, he gained an Executive MBA (distinction) from Leeds University Business School and has a particular interest in the role of personal and leadership development in managing change.
Born in England to Scottish parents, Paul grew up in Leeds. He qualified in Medicine from Leeds University in 1987. His career in anaesthesia was chosen from always being impressed and relieved by anaesthetists “bailing him out” when treating seriously injured patients as a young Casualty Officer!
Training posts throughout Yorkshire eventually led to a consultant post in Doncaster. In 1998, Paul became a consultant and lead clinician simultaneously at the age of 34. He undertook a “mini-sabbatical” working for two months in Paris in a centre of excellence. He flirted with academia, producing several abstracts and considered life in an ‘ivory tower’.
However, he soon became aware of increasing frustration with the way things were done in the NHS, and when, in 2001, the offer of Deputy Clinical Director was made (he spent four years in this role) he accepted on the basis of receiving good management training. He chose the modular Executive Part-time MBA at Leeds University Business School, his old alma mater.
The MBA was a great eye-opener. Paul quickly realised that there were better ways of working, it was possible to organise effectively and he could make a difference! It was refreshing to interact with top managers from both the private and public sector and wrestle with similar issues. It was surprising to see how often the NHS could be used as case study material for how not to do it!
Paul has since worked in national roles in the public sector and as a Medical Director in the private sector. Now, he sees consumer-driven reform of UK healthcare as the only appealing way forward for the NHS, free from the stultifying effects of political dogma and out-dated paternalism. He considers lack of imagination as the principal barrier to reform.