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Hospital Heroes – May 2020

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.

Hayley Marle, Director of Governance and Risk

My role is to provide support, guidance and direction to a team of specialist experts in governance topics and to make sure that we have a system to which we’re accountable for continuously improving the quality of our services for our patients and safeguarding high standards of care. That means creating an environment where clinical care can really flourish. We need a blame-free culture with a serious focus on safety to ensure that patients get the best possible care.

If something goes wrong in healthcare, which it sometimes does because it’s inherently complex and very risky, it’s about making sure we understand the systems and processes that went wrong and making sure that we provide the culture to minimise the chances of a repeat. I did my degree in psychology and really love and have an interest in the way human behaviour and hearts and minds impacts on systems and processes.

When the COVID-19 situation hit, it initially felt like business as usual in terms of governance. We still had patients and we still needed to ensure they received high-quality care. However, on the risk front, things have really had to adapt. From an information governance perspective – data protection, data sharing – that area has come to the forefront because we’re having to use technology to communicate and share information in ways we weren’t before.

Infection control is always important but all the more so at the moment. Monitoring infection control audits and infection control policies and procedures is constant. In the first few weeks of the outbreak that was changing twice a day on the guidance of Public Health England. We had to review all that and ensure everyone was trained and had the necessary equipment.

Governance can tend to become really quite bureaucratic. With regulation and compliance, if it’s not recorded, it’s not done. Governance tends to be associated with a lot of paperwork. The response to COVID-19 has forced us to look at what is vital and essential and what is a ‘nice to have’. In that respect the last few weeks have been a breath of fresh air.

I’ve been working at the Hospital for just over two months and found it to be a really special place to work. Everybody is so friendly and helpful and really patient-focused. Our values of charity, commitment, compassion and community, just shine through. I’ve joked that I have to factor in everybody’s friendliness because I keep turning up late to meetings because they always say hello in the corridor. It’s a special place, especially with the relationship with St John’s Hospice and that charity element.

Arlene Klue, Respiratory Clinical Lead Physiotherapist

I started here as a locum nearly two years ago. The Hospital wasn’t new to me as I have had past patients here whom I’ve visited and I’d also referred patients here over the past 10 years for various physio treatments. Their feedback was always exemplary, so I was grateful for the chance to go permanent.

Day to day I’m involved in the assessment and physiotherapy management of patients who present with physiotherapy needs post surgical or medical admission. I also have a respiratory outpatient clinic where I assess and treat patients who present with a respiratory illness where I aid them with education and management strategies. This has allowed me to build relationships with the respiratory consultants.

Nothing gives me more joy than a patient or family member being equipped with the knowledge they need to manage their condition optimally and the relief and gratitude patients exhibit when equipped with this. I am a firm believer in individualised patient care, ensuring patients receive the necessary care and, where appropriate, that family members are also supported.

We’ve had to find different ways of working during these times and we have had to keep abreast with guidance. However, it is great to see our team’s relationships growing…as always in crises the positive outcome is the bonding and kindness that manifests.

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

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