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Closer Look: EFM Contracts Manager

27 September 2018

Closer Look

Each month we interview a different member of staff or volunteer at Southend University Hospital and gain a closer look at how they help deliver patient care at the Trust. This month we meet Nicky Kitchener, EFM Contracts Manager (soft services).

Tell us about yourself?

I started my career as a regional trainee in health service management which gave me huge insight, knowledge and work experience across the full range of health services in acute and community settings. After substantive facilities roles including mental health services, I joined Southend Hospital (21 years ago!) and have managed a range of soft services over the years. Most recently transport, patient staff and visitor catering, retail services, laundry and linen and accommodation.

Outside of work I spend much of my time organising and participating in charity fundraising. Following the untimely death of our daughter, Sarah, eight years ago, my family set up the Sarah Kitchener Perrow Fund, a supporter group of the Brain Tumour Charity to provide much needed funding for high grade brain tumour research projects and family support.

What are the best bits about your job?

Everyday is different in facilities operational services. There are always plenty of challenges but by doing something another way or through listening to patient, public and staff feedback you can make continual improvements. I firmly believe that to achieve the best outcomes it requires a culture of everyone working together as a team based on strong relationships, positive interactions and mutual support which I strive to achieve through my role.

What work achievements are you most proud of?

I take great pride in seeing improved Patient Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) scores and especially the individual patient assessor feedback.

Also staff achievements! I'm always proud to see progression for staff I have mentored based on personal experience of NHS services as well as service knowledge.

How did it feel winning a Hospital Heroes Award?

It was a great honour to be nominated as a Hospital Hero and especially winning the Chairman's Outstanding Achievement Award 2017. This was most unexpected and humbling to be recognised in this way. It is testament to the amazing teams I work with who show exceptional commitment and support. It was a big morale boost for us all.