Upper School Choice - chess

From KAS to NHS – letter from an Old Alfredian

2nd June 20

Man holding a toy baby

David Kovar

  • KAS 1988 – 2000
  • University of Leeds 2003 – 2006
  • Director of Operational Resilience at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust

I’ve been asked to share a couple of specific memories about my time at KAS, and there are just far too many to put on paper, so I will simply say that I loved my time there and I never really realised just how lucky I was to be in such a place until long after I’d left.

I was there from reception through to completing my GCSEs and will always remember those years. From Keith, Edo and Claire’s eternal patience for my frankly appalling sporting abilities (these, I’m afraid, have not improved), to participating in school productions unlikely to be made anywhere else (Jaws being a personal favourite), school camps, good friends, building camps in the woods and Fish Finger Fridays KAS will remain an important part of my life.

After leaving university, I spent some time travelling and working, and chose to make a career change in 2008 after a university house mate was diagnosed with leukaemia. I spent six months at Cancer Research UK before joining the NHS in 2009 as part of the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme.

I have been lucky enough to work in a variety of roles across a range of organisations including managing Neurosciences at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, leading Women’s & Children’s Services at the Royal London Hospital and being the Managing Director of Haringey Mental Health. I have been at the North Middlesex since March, having been appointed to lead the organisations response to Covid-19.

Working in the NHS in these unprecedented times has been extremely challenging, in ways that few of us ever expected to experience in our careers. I’ve been constantly inspired by the frontline doctors, nurses, AHP’s, paramedics, mental health professionals, administrators, porters, catering staff, security staff, volunteers and managers I’ve had the privilege of working with. These front line workers have been dealing with death, uncertainty, suffering and anxiety on a huge scale. But throughout it all, their fortitude, compassion and dedication has shone through. My experience of working alongside them will stay with me for the rest of my career and beyond.

This isn’t the whole story, it would be wrong of me to imply that anyone has been finding things easy, but if you look you can see an awful lot of hope. Armies of volunteers donating their time, former colleagues returning to work to treat patients and support staff, endless donations of food, services achieving in weeks what would normally take years, a nation showing its appreciation every Thursday evening, paramedics working in Intensive Care Units, doctors working nursing shifts and all of us skipping the queue at Waitrose.

If you know any key workers, be kind to them, they’re all tired. In the meantime, be kind to each other. Check in on old friends, stay in touch with everyone and call your parents. To my fellow Old Alfredians who are also key workers, thank you, and to all of you, stay safe.


Where Next?