If you’re looking for a job in the digital industry, TPP needs to be on your radar, because as well as being the leaders in their field, they’ve been named The Top Company For Graduates To Work For by TheJobCrowd. Find out why…
TPP is something of an anomaly. You probably don’t know who they are or what they do, and yet they’ve touched the lives of millions of people across the UK. Why? Because they’re the brains behind SystmOne, the pioneering clinical system that made ‘one patient, one record’ a reality. They’ve made it their mission to join up the UK’s healthcare system, bringing together physical, mental health and social care records in one secure online system – and it’s helping to save lives.
Changing the face of healthcare today
“Our goal has always been to make sure that wherever a patient turns up for care, all the clinical information about them should be available to help them have a better experience and get a better outcome from their treatment,” Dr Chris Bates, Director of Research & Analytics at TPP, explained. Since they started on that mission 20 years ago, they’ve come forward in leaps and bounds. In fact, their system now holds over 44 million patient records – and no, it wasn’t affected by the recent cyber attack, it’s completely secure.
Innovation is at the heart of what they do here. When they started out, the very idea of creating a centralised patient record system was radical – it had never been done before, they were starting from scratch. Now they’re continually pushing forward and driving change, not just here in the UK, but also overseas. They’re developing an innovative new system to transform healthcare in China and have also developed a fully Arabised system for implementation across the Middle East.
They’ve also become a force for good through ResearchOne, a not-for-profit enterprise that they run with the University of Leeds. They’ve created a database of 6 million anonymous, de-identified records that’s used for clinical research across the country, helping with a huge range of projects, from improving the care of elderly patients to helping to reduce anti-microbial resistance. They’re not just innovators, they’re incubators, helping clinicians to benefit from new research at the cutting-edge of patient care.
There’s never a dull day
It’s important work, with added feel good, but it’s also incredibly challenging – you can make a real difference here, and they’ll give you all the space and resources you need to do it. They operate a flat hierarchy, so everyone is on an equal footing, whether you’ve just started or have been there for years. That means that you have a voice right from the start – you’re encouraged to contribute to how TPP runs and you can influence the projects the company’s working on.
“It’s a flat hierarchy, so the opportunities for career progression are absolutely enormous. Sometimes people think the two don’t marry up, because there’s no obvious next step, but it’s just not like that. From the moment you start, you contribute. You’re immediately involved in real projects, so within six months of starting you might have been speaking to the Health Minister, you might have been out to China, you might have worked with the NHS on a major project. Your CV just keeps getting better and better,” Chris told us.
And he should know. He started his career at TPP as a software developer, coming into the company with a PhD in mathematics and a love of all things geeky, but with no formal experience. That’s how they work here – they want great minds, intelligent people who are passionate about what they do. If you don’t have previous experience that doesn’t matter, because they’ll train you up. That’s what they did with Chris, and he’s flourished, training new staff and taking on new challenges, such as speaking at international conferences such as the recent Health Datapalooza in Washington, D.C.
Oh man, they’ve got some seriously good perks
Okay, so there are employee perks and then there are TPP perks. These guys built a £22 million office on Low Lane in Horsforth (with space for 600 people, when they currently employee 200, now that’s ambition) and it’s incredible. The entire top floor has been turned into a breakout space where you can go to chill on your lunch – think comfy seats, pool tables, Sky TV and an outdoor balcony for those rare sunny days.
Think that’s good? They’ll also give you a free breakfast on Fridays, then in the evening, they encourage everyone to go to the pub and pick up the tab. No, we’re not kidding, they do it every week – sometimes 50 people go, sometimes the entire company shows up, either way, you can have drinks and get to know your colleagues outside of work. And on your birthday, they buy you dinner – you get £200 to go to a restaurant of your choice with friends and family. Then there’s the holidays, lots of them, the lunchtime yoga classes, the five-a-side football, and let’s not forget the on-site massages.
But the one that has us writing our resignation letters is the training fund. Needless to say, Chris has taken full advantage of it, “We have a course allowance that gives you 5 days off and a considerable amount of money to spend on a course of your choice. A few years ago I went to a healthcare and medical conference in Cape Town to see what was going on internationally in the healthcare IT world, but for the last few years, we’ve all been on a sailing trip in the Caribbean together. All the different teams are mixed together on different boats, learning new skills and just getting to spend some time with each other.”
So, how do you get through the door?
Well, the good news is – they’re growing fast and recruiting just as quickly. Software development is obviously a huge part of what they do here and they’re always looking for new talent. You don’t need experience, just enthusiasm and drive – which means anyone can apply.
They get a lot of scientists, mathematicians and engineers coming into these roles, because that geeky, logical approach is the perfect grounding. Graduate salaries start at between £32,000-£36,000, so you’re landing on your feet here, and they’re currently on the hunt for their #TPPtop50 – with 50 positions on their software development team available for the brightest graduates in the UK. They’re looking for academic ability over experience, so if you’re A*AA student who wants a job that will continually challenge you, this is it. And if you’re still not sure it’s for you, you could always do a summer coding internship to get a taste of what it’s like.
It’s not just software developers though. You could become an analyst, working closely with both clients and developers to ensure the software is the best available, or why not go into technical operations, focusing on the databases, hardware and networks? And if you’re better with people, you might want to try the other side of the business. They have account management positions, which will see you building relationships with new clients, working with people across all levels of the NHS and even speaking with international health ministers.
Then there are the hands on roles – the helpdesk team, who know the system inside out so they can help clients through any problem, and the product specialists, who show medical professionals how to use the software. They’re essential roles, as important to the business as a developer, but you can come into these straight from school or college.
The roles may be different, but the people who do them all have one thing in common – they’re ambitious, smart and forward-thinking, ready to work with a great team to make a real difference to healthcare.