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Hospital Heroes – April 2020 (Pt.1)

Hospital Heroes

At St John & St Elizabeth Hospital, we take huge pride in the amazing work of our team and their dedication to our mantra: Putting People First.

We have over 570 people working for us across 41 departments and consider each and every one integral to the smooth running of the hospital. In the coming months, we’ll be meeting lots of them for a quick chat about what their work entails, why they enjoy it and what it is that appeals to them about caring for patients.

Be sure to follow the hospital’s Instagram account (@stjohnandstelizabethhospital) for our latest portraits and keep an eye on the hospital website for a monthly round-up.

Bernadette Johnson, Senior Healthcare Assistant

I was a nanny when I was much younger but since then I’ve worked in care homes, the hospice community and done ward work at Great Ormond Street Hospital. I’ve done a lot in my time.

The reason I came here was because my daughter had a rare condition. She’s still got it. I came here because they had the people here who could deal with it and I was told they could sort it out. During that time, I thought to myself, this is where I want to be. In stressful times, patients and their families quite often think ‘you don’t understand’ but in my case, because of my daughter’s situation, I can tell them, I do.

I’ve won a couple of awards here and it is because of my patient care. That’s what I’m about. It’s all about the patients and to give them a good service. And to go the extra mile; making phone calls, making sure they have water. It doesn’t sound like a lot but people appreciate these things.

The other day I had a young girl, uni age, who was crying and her family wasn’t here. I sat with her and got her tea and coffee. She later said I made her feel welcome and that she loves the hospital and felt safe. That’s what I came here to do.

Lucy-Anne Dixon, Registered Nurse

My favourite part of this job is being involved with minor ops. I’ve been trained up to help the different dermatologists and plastic surgeons. The nurses are more involved on the assistance front with the dermatologists. We’d get the anaesthetic ready, clean the area. One nurse, the sterile nurse, is always scrubbing, getting the equipment set up. The other is doing what we call the circulating nurse role, which involves getting the patient ready, doing observations, getting the specimen pot and assisting the scrub nurse. We also have to get all the documentation done before, during and after the procedure.

There’s a lot going on, especially with back-to-back patients. The aim is to keep things running smooth and efficient. You don’t want there to be an impact on the time of the doctor, patient or us. We’re always looking to keep things running smooth.

The team is really good, the one thing that helped me to decide to take the job offer here was the fact that I got offered an informal interview first. I liked that. I liked coming in with less pressure. I got to meet one of the sisters at that point and to meet a couple of other staff. When I came back for the formal interview I got to meet both ward managers.

I had a good feeling as soon as I was greeted at the main reception. Then I got a good greeting at the Brampton House reception, went upstairs and got another welcome from the nurses there! It was a good first impression before the interview.

Steve Kimp, Director of Projects

I have always specifically dealt with challenging projects. Particularly ones where people say you can’t achieve that. There’s a solution to everything in construction. Sometimes you have to throw money at it. Sometimes you have to do it in a totally unconventional way but there is always a solution.

Our HJE 2020 project was originally a ‘theatre refresh’ programme. Basically, building four new state of the art theatres and three-day case theatres. That’s complemented by a whole new imaging suite, new MRI and CT scanners and various ancillary bits. It also increases the size of the Urgent Care centre which is one of our key growth areas. It obviously relocates them into a new specifically built area. They are large theatres and there are some very bespoke requirements; they are verging on being hybrid theatres.

The Hospice inpatient unit was last refurbished 15 years ago. With so much happening around the Hospital – we’ve previously done ward refurbs within the David Morley building – it was time to bring the Hospice up to date. We’re following our original Hospital template. There are some really nice finishes in there; it’s coordinated and designed around dementia and that impacts the choice of colours, finishes, touch, feel, sight and those sorts of things.

Obviously, we have to keep the Hospice going while we do the refurb. The project is broken down into a number of small phases that will be carried out over the next six months. In essence, it’s 19 rooms and a glazed extension. It was all based around creating a viewing room for the garden. When we moved the Chelsea Flower Show garden to the Hospice, the aim was to create a grand dining area for 15 people to sit at a communal table. It’s important because for those who don’t have the ability to go outside, they can still enjoy the garden. The project has grown from that. We were originally going to refurb a couple of rooms but we decided we could do more. It’s based on fundraising.

The people make this place. The big driver of HJE 2020 building project is that once we’ve improved the infrastructure, we’ve got the total package here. We will have incredible staff in an incredible setting – creating a very special hospital.

Keep checking back each month for more updates in our Hospital Heroes series.

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