Hospital Heroes – October 2020
1st October 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.
Our Hospital Hero series gives us the opportunity to share their stories, to learn about different roles and to better understanding 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.
Louise Stockley, Events Executive
I’ve been working here since March 2018 as an Events Executive. I wanted to move to London and work somewhere that was doing larger and more meaningful events and the Hospital fit the bill, especially with healthcare running in the family.
My role covers all the internal and external events for the Hospital and Hospice with the aim being to raise vital funds for our charity. I work closely with the marketing and fundraising teams to coordinate our calendar of events most of which are Hospice-related and involve the local community. Day-to-day I liaise with suppliers and contractors and work on the designing, logistics and running of events.
We run everything from auctions in spring and autumn, memory walks and remembrance evenings, to our fayres in summer and Christmas. The latter, which is held in St John’s Wood, really connects with the community and looks spectacular.
Obviously, I’ve had to adapt my role during the pandemic. With the majority of our usual fundraising avenues completely cut off, I’ve been focusing on online fundraisers. We’ve held the ‘5K in a Day’ where people covered five kilometres either at home or as part of their daily exercise allowance. We also ran ‘Paws on Parade’, a virtual dog show with prizes for the winners.
The Hospice has continued to treat patients throughout COVID-19 which means it’s been vitally important for us to keep raising money. That’s why we’ve had to turn to online participation. It’s been a struggle at times, you can’t quite engage with the local community in the same way when you’re not face-to-face, but you’ve got to adapt during difficult circumstances.
From an internal events perspective, we run events including ‘Magic Moments’ which every quarter recognises the amazing work and achievements of our staff.
The people here definitely make this Hospital stand out. My role sees me working with multiple departments and everyone is so willing to help out. Our events require input from the catering team, the porters and obviously we need volunteers as well. Without everyone pitching in, we couldn’t hold any events at all. I enjoy coming to work because I get to see all these people who are more like friends than colleagues. We have a real community vibe.
Andrew Corser, Estates Officer
I’ve been here for just over seven months now and work with the in-house team of technicians, service providers and contractors to ensure the smooth running of the Hospital and Hospice estates, focusing specifically on electrical, mechanical and building services.
I came here with 35 years of experience under my belt having worked as Operations Manager for the NHS at Southend Hospital. I guess you could say my start date was interesting timing given COVID-19, but unlike everyone else, my role was relatively unaffected by the pandemic. I continued as normal, maintaining and repairing faults and defects as and when required.
I know I’ve only been here a short time, but I can already say with confidence that the people make this place. Everybody has been very friendly.
Cherelyn Victor, Clinical Development Lead
I lived in Saudi Arabia for a few years and only came to London to spend a short time with family but 16 years later I’m still here! The family won’t let me go. That whole time, I’ve worked at St John & St Elizabeth Hospital.
My role entails a few different responsibilities. First, I facilitate the day-to-day management of theatres, organising, planning and ensuring we’ve got the right equipment for the procedures and the doctors. I also oversee staffing for procedures, making sure we always have the right skill mix on hand.
Secondly, I’m responsible for ensuring our nursing team maintains their excellent standards of care and are fully compliant with all the protocols in place.
I also look after the student nurses that come from City and King’s College, helping them get the proper mentorship they need when working in the operating rooms. I’m also involved in the personal development and in-house training and education of our own nursing staff.
As I mentioned before, one of my key roles is to provide a safe working environment. You’ve heard of the phrase “to err is human”…to expect flawless performances from staff working in a complex and highly stressful environment is quite unrealistic so we have systems in place to guard staff against mistakes.
One of the processes we have in place is the WHO surgical safety checklist. This is a tool designed to improve the safety of surgical procedures. It brings the whole team together in the theatre. From the surgeons and anaesthetic team to the scrub nurses, we all perform vital checks from briefing and sign-in time through to timeout and debrief. The aim is to allow everybody to communicate any concerns they might have from the list. At the end of the list we have a debrief to discuss what went well, what we can improve on and this is all audited on a monthly basis.
Keep checking back each month for more updates in our Hospital Heroes series.