Spotlight on Maleesha Mallawarachchi, visiting Medical Director

Maleesha Mallawarachchi joined our hospital in November 2021 to gain experience in leadership and health management with a year-long Associate Medical Director role.

Maleesha is from Sri Lanka and she’s shadowing Prof Erika Denton, Medical Director, until November 2022 as part of her post-graduate studies and to learn more senior leadership skills.

“This is a very exciting experience and every day is new for me,” said Maleesha.

“I’ve been working very closely with Erika and I feel I’m already learning a lot thanks to her mentoring skills. I attend meetings with Erika and see how she manages projects and communicates with colleagues.

“It has been really impressive to see how she balances priorities and uses her management skills to motivate everyone – especially in the last few, challenging, weeks.

“I admire the way Erika gives her attention to every small yet important thing despite her busy schedule. She was not only considerate towards my professional training but also understanding and helpful towards how I settled in Norwich with my kids and all.”

“Of course this is a really difficult period for the hospital because of Covid-19, but, in a way, I feel privileged to be here at this time and see how the organisation is coping with reduced staff capacity and the increasing volume of patients.”

Back home in Sri Lanka, Maleesha is a medical doctor and after her overseas training she will be qualified to specialise in healthcare administration.

Once she has completed her shadowing period at our hospital she’ll be interviewed by the Sri Lanka Health Ministry and offered an opportunity as a Consultant in Medical Administration in the Ministry of Health where she would continue as a Medical Director in a hospital or in a Healthcare Directorate, back in Sri Lanka.

“I decided to move to Norwich also because my husband is doing an overseas attachment at UEA. Between now and the end of my stay here I’ll develop my knowledge in clinical governance, healthcare quality and workforce management.

“I will also learn more how to relate artificial intelligence in healthcare management and data science, clinical record management and health systems research,” added Maleesha.

“My first impact with Norwich was a bit shocking due to the cold weather as this time of the year in Colombo it is really warm. But all the people I’ve met, both within and also outside the hospital, have been really friendly and helpful – I am especially thankful to Rees Millbourne, Senior Business Manager, who is always there to support me.

“I really feel this is a great place to live in the UK and I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to learn from an experienced leader such as Erika.”

Prof Erika Denton, Medical Director, said: “‘I am delighted to have Maleesha as a member of my senior team and very pleased she is finding working with us a good experience despite the restrictions Covid has placed on us all.”

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