Publish date: 20 May 2024

International HR Day - Q&A


To celebrate #InternationalHRDay, we sat down with some of our colleagues in HR. In this blog, we'll meet two members of the team, Dawn Temple-Scott and Amalia-Maria Defta, who speak to us about their journey, what their role involves and why they love their job.


Dawn Temple-Scott is a workforce planning and automation programme manager in Northumbria Healthcare’s HR department.

Hi Dawn, could you tell us a little bit about your background?
Unlike a lot of my colleagues, my background isn’t in HR. I've worked as a general programme manager across various sectors. I've previously held roles at London Electricity, Master Foods, and the Legal Services Commission, so my experience is quite diverse.

What attracted you to your role?
There were a couple of factors that drew me to this role. when I returned to work from a carer’s break and was seeking an organisation with a progressive and flexible approach to work; Northumbria Healthcare offered exactly that. Secondly, the role itself intrigued me due to its breadth, and the ability to focus on the positive impact process automation can have, not just from an organisational standpoint, but also at an individual level.

Could you tell us a little bit about your role?
My role primarily focuses on two areas: automation and workforce planning. In terms of automation, I support teams to identify and develop robotic process automation (RPA) to streamline repetitive, rule-based HR tasks such as producing, distributing, and filing contract variation letters. This not only standardises the process to ensure legal and regulatory compliance but also saves valuable time for our teams, allowing them to concentrate on tasks that require a human touch. This work is supported by a close collaboration with the RPA team within the trust’s IT department.

The second aspect of my role is workforce planning. This involves collaborating with business units within the trust to assist them in developing their own workforce planning strategies. Workforce planning encompasses analysing, forecasting, and planning workforce supply and demand, identifying gaps, and ensuring the organisation has the right personnel. I support the trust-wide workforce planning strategy group, chaired by our medical director.

What do you enjoy about your role?
The thing that I really get a kick out of is working alongside a team of subject matter experts and coming up with a solution to a problem. Once we’re able to develop an approach that works for the business and implement it, I love seeing the positive impact that it makes on the ground. I really enjoy developing and implementing systems that have a tangible benefit on staff and, ultimately, patients.

Amalia-Maria Defta is an HR advisor – corporate services and subsidiaries


Hi Amalia, could you let us know a little bit about your career journey?
I moved to the UK from Romania at 18 to study Business Management with Human Resources Management at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. During my undergraduate, I took the opportunity to complete a work placement in HR which solidified my passion for the topic.

Upon graduation, I started a job as an HR advisor in the energy sector. I was quickly transitioned into a recruitment coordination role that focused on apprenticeship and work experience programmes. Eventually, I realised I wanted to move into a more operational and employee-centred HR role, leading me to Northumbria Healthcare.

What do you do in your role?
I have quite a varied workload! A big part of my day involves coaching and guiding managers on all things HR-related. Whether it's handling issues like workplace dignity, managing sickness, or navigating parental leave, I'm there to ensure our policies are being applied fairly and effectively. I take real pride in making sure everyone is treated fairly, no matter what they're going through.

What initially drew you to the trust and the role that you’re currently in now?
I really wanted to work for the NHS and Northumbria Healthcare’s values line up perfectly with mine. I wanted to be part of an organization that genuinely helps people and makes a positive impact.

As far as what interested me about the role specifically; I love that I can advocate for people and ensure that everyone is treated fairly. Equality and fairness are very important to me. It's fulfilling to know I can support my colleagues and ensure we're being treated with respect.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
Without a doubt, it's the people. My role revolves around making sure everyone is treated with respect and dignity, and that's something I'm truly passionate about. Being able to contribute to a work environment where everyone feels valued – that's what makes it all worthwhile.

Media Contact

Christopher Magee, marketing and communications officer