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Trolley good idea

27 January 2015

Health Care

It’s a simple idea, each fortnight every member of the executive team at Southend Hospital will be out and about in wards and departments working alongside staff on the front line.

These two hour 'back to the floor' stints will help give the whole team a unique and valuable insight into what happens in that area and how it links into the trust values: everybody matters, everything counts, everyone's responsible.

First out of the blocks and in at the deep end was Neil Rothnie, the medical director, who spent two hours immersed in the world of the porters, who are a vital link in the smooth running of every part of the hospital.

Neil worked as a hospital porter 40 years ago and was therefore keen to get stuck in and get hands on experience of a modern porter's role.

Changing into a polo shirt he helped move some desks in the surgical department, transfer a patient from cardiac day stay to a ward, as well as learning the ropes about the diverse range of jobs and challenges that our porters face on a daily basis.

Neil said: "Our porters are an essential part of the smooth running of the hospital so it was great for me to see how the team works and to recognise the pressures that they are under. They are intrinsic to our success, but their contribution frequently goes unrecognised."

During the exercise Neil discovered that on donning a polo shirt and pushing a trolley he developed a degree of anonymity, often passing colleagues in the corridor who no longer recognised him. One of the major lessons was the need for all our staff to develop a mutual understanding and to recognise the contributions made by others and also the pressures that they are working under…everybody matters.