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NHS75 - Tina Hopkins shares her story

To celebrate the 75 anniversary of the NHS, we will be sharing stories from a range of employees and professions across Digital Health and Care Wales. Today we hear from Tina Hopkins, a Software Analyst.


Tell us a little about your job role

As a software test analyst, I carry out system testing on new functionality and changes in IT and information systems. I work on the Welsh Patient Administration System (WPAS) which is used in hospitals across Health Boards in Wales.

The role involves analysing the requirements of changes, identifying the areas which could be impacted by them and then writing and executing test scripts to ensure that any changes introduced into the system meet the requirements of the users and do not have any adverse effect on the current functioning of the system.

We also get involved in testing data migrations in WPAS and I was recently involved in testing the migration of Velindre Cancer Centre data from a system they use called Canisc into the WPAS. As a development team we use Agile which involves daily and weekly meetings to discuss and review the progress of changes. It enables close collaboration across the team and allows us to be flexible in adapting to the needs of the Health Boards.

What do you enjoy about your job role?
I like investigating and solving problems, so enjoy looking into changes and how they interact with the system to identify all the scenarios which will need to be included in our testing.

You need to be creative when thinking of test scenarios so having a vivid imagination helps. I also enjoy investigating any issues we find in the system to try and find the source of the issue,  to provide as much detail as possible to the developers to assist in its resolution. Our team works very closely with other members of the development team and the wider WPAS team and it’s also  good to be able to interact with end users in the Health Boards during User Acceptance Testing phases and Data Migration testing.

Despite starting this role during the pandemic and being unable to meet my testing colleagues in person for
over a year, we have a close-knit team who work really well together and support each other.

How did you join your profession?
After studying the completely unrelated subject of Mineral Surveying in college, I took a job in the banking sector and ending up staying there far longer than I expected to! I became interested in the IT side of the  bank and studied part time for a HNC in evening classes. This enabled me to move to a testing role in the bank’s credit card division, where I also carried out data support and application support roles which increased my testing experience and business knowledge.

During my 19 years in testing I have worked at a number of companies and this has allowed me to test a variety of products including hardware, which has developed my testing skills.


How long have you been part of the NHS?
2.5 years

What does the NHS mean to you?
I have depended on the expertise and compassion of NHS staff many times over the last few years and have always had a huge amount of respect for frontline staff, which increased even further during the pandemic.

I was therefore really keen to work for the NHS where I could contribute to products which would make a  difference to people and provide a valuable service. I am proud to say I work for the NHS and do everything I can in my role to help improve it and make the patient experience the best it can be.