Jilly Croasdale – Head of Radiopharmacy and Associate Director Healthcare Science

JillyCroasdaleFOR some people it can take forever to find the right job, while others take a chance on an opportunity and get lucky. This is Jilly Croasdale’s story.

Jilly, 44, from Lichfield, Staffordshire, is the Head of Radiopharmacy and Associate Director Healthcare Science for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust. She explains: “As Head of Radiopharmacy I run the operation for making medical isotopes for use in Nuclear Medicine studies. My role as Associate Director, Healthcare Science involves acting as Lead Scientist for the Trust and representing all the Healthcare Scientists who work for us.

Jilly has worked her way up to her position, starting her career at City Hospital. She said: “Getting into Radiopharmacy was kind of a happy accident! I had studied to be a pharmacist and applied to work at City Hospital. I mentioned Radiopharmacy in my application and was offered a Radiopharmacy job.

“Although I didn’t then have any aspirations to work in Radiopharmacy at that time, I decided to give it a whirl. Anyway, what I found was that when I was in the Radiopharmacy, I never looked at my watch and wished it was home time. I have to say, 22 years later, I still don’t.”

Jilly has plenty of career highlights to match her enthusiasm for the job, including working with the Cancer Research team at the Royal Free Hospital in London developing new treatments for patients, and she has been working with her colleagues nationally to improve standards. She is continuing to make improvements in her current role. She said: “I get a lot of satisfaction from driving forward new ideas and from getting things done. The team of people I have in my Radiopharmacy are brilliant. We’ve worked together to bring about real change and improvements in quality. I love being in a busy and energised environment, and thrive on new challenges.

“I am on a bit of a mission in Radiopharmacy. People should see the point of quality systems. To do that, they need to work. My team and I have worked very hard to reach a point where we have this, and I believe we are really getting there. It’s so satisfying to see them develop, and to see the improvements taking shape. We won’t stand still. We still want to have the best quality systems of any Radiopharmacy in the country!”

Jilly also gives back to the community by running Healthcare Science Taster Days for local schoolchildren, where they get to spend the day in the Trust learning about all the different Healthcare Science disciplines. She said: “The students were all so enthusiastic! I think it helped everyone remember what they like about the job they’re doing.”

“I want to work to develop our links with young people so we can give them opportunities to gain experience of working in our organisation. I want us to develop a portfolio of support and help for them when they decide what they’re going to do with their lives. I enjoy working with my team, and I enjoy new challenges. I like to get results and feel I’m making a difference. I like how my job has a good mix of technical, clinical, scientific and management elements, basically I like it all.”

Away from work Jilly spends time with her two young boys, she also finds the time to visit friends and family and is a keen cocktail maker.