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Hospital Heroes – February 2020 (Pt.2)

Hospital Heroes

At the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth, 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 (@hospitalofstjohnsteliz) for our latest portraits and keep an eye on the hospital website for a monthly round-up.



Gavin Dodla-Bhemah, Clinical Pharmacist

My time is split between the wards and outpatients. I screen prescriptions to make sure they are safe for patients before we supply medications. I’m also involved in audit work, I recently completed an audit on antibiotic prescribing in the hospital. I’m now on the infection control committee working with doctors and nurses to improve antibiotic prescribing throughout the hospital.

I was always good at biology and chemistry at school and had an interest in healthcare. In sixth form I got a job in Boots pharmacy. It seemed like a natural progression to do pharmacy at university. And now I’m here!

One of the main responsibilities is to address concerns that people have about their medication. With each medicine you get a patient information leaflet. Obviously, it can be quite daunting reading that information so we reassure them. We have to keep up to date with changes to guidelines because they do happen quite a bit. We need to stay in the loop.

It has a really nice family feel to it. All the healthcare professionals are very friendly. It’s quite unique on that front and it’s also quite a small hospital so everyone knows each other.



Carol Horsey, Deputy Chief Nursing Officer

My job covers so many things. I look after the inpatient wards. I look after the duty managers. I also on a day-to-day basis manage and assist with the operational management and running of the hospital.

It’s busy, it’s varied but that’s what is so nice about it. As a senior nurse in the hospital we cover so many aspects, predominantly clinical but also assisting the non-clinical areas as well.

I was a nurse originally and I still am, I’m still on the register. I made a decision quite a while ago that I wanted to go into management, it was a branch I wanted to specialise in and then work my way up.

I went from school to nursing, I also wanted to be a nurse. I love nursing right from the beginning.

I’m more employee-facing these days, I spend much of my time supporting, empowering, assisting and developing the nurses and ensuring their practices and processes are up to date and adhering to the regulations and standards.

I try to be a supportive line manager to the nurses that report directly into me and supporting them to ensure their departments are running smoothly. If the staff aren’t happy, the patients aren’t going to get the best care that they are entitled to. The nurses here are very happy but we’re always continuing and striving to improve our standard of care.

The hospital is small, friendly and the departments interact with each other very well. It’s very supportive.

For me, the biggest thing I’ve appreciated is being able to make changes relatively quickly. As I said, it’s a small hospital, a standalone hospital, you’re able to introduce change without too many barriers or red tape. That’s the biggest thing that stands out in my opinion.

We’ve also been very fortunate to have several wards refurbished and they are lovely to work in. And then there’s the new development which is really exciting.



Nadya Lurie, Volunteer at St John’s Hospice

When you give to people, you get so much back. It’s a lovely feeling. I know that I’m doing good here. I’m not doing a huge amount, but it’s something. As volunteers, we help the hospital staff do some of the day-to-day tasks so they can focus on their specialities. It’s a wonderful feeling. The more you work here, the more you want to be involved. Everyone is just so lovely.

Whenever I visit someone in their room or if I come across a visitor, I’ll always ask if they want a cup of tea, introduce myself and offer to lend a hand if there’s anything they might need. Really it’s about talking to people and making them feel comfortable, making them feel loved. A hospice is not just for people at the end of their life, people come here for respite care, they come to have their medication regulated.

This whole place is full of love. You walk in here and you can feel the love. Yes, obviously patients do pass away and that’s very sad and people do get emotional but there’s always someone to talk to. I never walk out of here feeling upset.


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


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