Hospital Heroes – April 2020 (Pt.2)
21st April 2020
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.
Giovanni di Stefano, Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist
I’ve been working here for the past two years. I love it, I absolutely love it. I work with an amazing team and two amazing managers. So far, I’m proud to say the physio team have worked really hard and managed to get amazing results in terms of patient satisfaction. I’m really happy.
My background is personal training. I had been doing that for a while when I moved to this country and then I decided to embark on a course at another hospital. That’s when a whole new world opened up. It’s been an amazing path. I used to teach Pilates before coming here and we now offer a very beginner class, where we teach very basic positions. It’s addressed towards all those patients who are looking to start training again, whether that’s training at the gym or doing Pilates, it doesn’t matter; the class that we run here is very friendly and easy. It’s addressed to all the people from outside the Hospital who are curious to start a Pilates class and to understand what Pilates is.
This Hospital is all about teamwork and it has an amazing community feel. The patients are really nice, I’m proud to say that we have a really great connection with the community around here; they know us, they support us and they come back. That means a lot to us. When a patient is coming back it means you’re doing a good job.
Marie Sylvaine Lutchman, PA to Mr Simon Choong, Consultant Urologist
I started in October 1995, so I’ve been here 24 years. I started on the ward, an orthopaedic ward, as a ward clerk for maybe five to seven years. I’ve been in the birth unit and I was also on the St Francis Ward, which is urology-focused. In between, I’ve done my medical terminology because I always wanted to be a secretary. And for 15 years, I’ve been with Mr Choong.
We met when I was in the urology ward. I used to arrange all the paperwork and I was doing my medical terminology studies at the time. We got talking and he said he was looking for a secretary. And that was that. We started with one clinic here per week and he had fewer than 400 patients. Now we have thousands.
Me and him, we are very compatible at work. He leaves me to do my job and he does his job well. He’s a very nice, kind person. I’ve learnt a lot from him.
I have to book all the appointments, prepare all the tests and I file everything. Claire, who has worked with me for a year, helps two days a week. We’re quite big now, so we needed extra help with the accounts. I used to do everything! I arrange the clinics, keep Mr Choong’s diary up to date, arrange theatres on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The clinic is usually from 5 pm to 8 or 9 pm; we get phone and email queries all the time.
It’s a very friendly hospital. When I came here, I thought I’d maybe stay for three to four years. But people when they come here, they stay a long time; most of the secretaries have been here five to 10 years. I’m a bit friendly with everyone. I think the whole hospital knows me. If somebody is new, I’ll always say hello. When you work in a massive place, sometimes people don’t want to know you, but it’s different here.
Harold Osei, Specialist Neurological Physiotherapist
I joined the stroke unit in 2019 to help develop the service and to consolidate my neuro-rehabilitation skills. My role is heavily focused on patient admittance and requires me to liaise with stroke consultants, GPs and discharge co-ordinators in other facilities to determine how suitable it is for our unit to work with the patient. Once this is established we invite relatives to visit our facilities and give them a detailed breakdown of the intensity of the rehab on offer. It is after this that the actual intensive rehabilitation begins.
Empowering someone unable to walk or use an arm to perform basic functional tasks such as grooming or eating fills me with much joy that emanates through for family members and staff alike to see. I work in a very close-knitted team with real compassionate staff willing to always go the extra mile without prompting. It is this that makes me honoured to be working here at St John and St Elizabeth Hospital.
I know that the fantastic work of the Hospital helps enhance the services on offer at St John’s Hospice, whether that’s the acquisition of state of the art equipment or the day-to-day running of the facility. This alone fills me with much zeal when delivering rehabilitation to patients that have had life-changing neurological events as I know I am making a difference on many different levels. This makes the benefit of working here two-fold.
The unprecedented times the nation faces have not changed my role a great deal. Patients that attend neuro-outpatient clinics have been offered video consultations including revision of exercise programmes in order to continue to empower them while they have been advised to stay at home.
Keep checking back each month for more updates in our Hospital Heroes series.