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#8 Leading Practitioner Interview: Jonny Sammut

Updated: Jul 3




For our 8th Leading Practitioner interview, we are delighted to introduce you to Jonny Sammut.

 

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your career journey so far:

 

I’ve had an incredibly rewarding journey in my career, transitioning from the private sector to the public sector. Currently, I serve as the Director of Digital Services at the Welsh Ambulance Service. Before this, I was the Chief of Digital and Innovation at the North West Ambulance Service. My move to the ambulance sector came after spending 15 years in the private sector, where I held various roles in digital and data across Occupational Health, Outsourcing, and the insurance and investment industries.

 

Earlier in my career, I gained valuable experience in sales and even ran my own website development and PC repair business. Each of these roles has helped shape my understanding and passion for digital services and innovation.

 

What is one thing you wish you had known when you began your career?

Technical skills are just one aspect of digital leadership roles. Equally important are skills like people management, active listening, and public speaking. I wish I’d know earlier how interpersonal skills are so crucial and the fact that they require ongoing effort and attention to maintain and develop.

 

What advice would you give to someone who wants to advance in the profession?

My biggest piece of advice would be to embrace uncertainty. The sooner you become comfortable with uncertainty and learn to recognise it, the sooner you can grow and use those moments to your advantage.

 

What are the best resources that have helped you along the way?

Building a strong, reliable network of people from diverse backgrounds and with different skills is incredibly important. It's essential not to get complacent—continuously share with others and keep expanding your network over time

 

What is the one common myth about your profession or field that you want to debunk?

The idea that technical professionals lack people skills is a misconception. In my two decades of experience, I've seen some of the best interpersonal skills come from those in technical fields. The stereotype of technical roles being confined to dark basement rooms is outdated.

 

What do you think is going to have the biggest impact on health in the next 5 years?

Finding the right balance between pioneering new technologies and mastering the basics is crucial. While advancements like AI and cutting-edge hardware will undoubtedly revolutionise the field, true success lies in not overlooking the fundamentals, such as cybersecurity, throughout this journey.

 

How do you continue to learn in order to stay on top of things within your role?

Prioritising self-development is essential. It should be a key part of your objectives and personal development plan. If you don't make continuous learning a priority, it's often the first thing you drop when time is tight. In the rapidly evolving world of technology and digital, staying current is crucial.

 

What do you think is the biggest challenge for the profession and how should we overcome it?

One of the biggest challenges we face is centred around the adoption of new and evolving technologies. Balancing this with diversity, inclusion, and managing the technical debt we've accumulated creates a complex and demanding landscape. Clear, strategic, and well-thought-out digital plans and leadership are more crucial than ever to ensure we don't leave anyone behind in this digital revolution.

 

What job did you think you’d be doing when you were at school?

That's a great question! When I left school, my dream was to join the RAF as a fighter pilot and spend my days protecting people from the skies. Unfortunately, my eyesight wasn't up to the required standard at the time, and those dreams were quickly shattered. However, I found a unique opportunity to use my other passion—digital technology—to serve and support the people of our country in a different, but equally meaningful way.

 


 


 


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