Photo of the Estates and Facilities team
Chief executive Therese Patten gives a big thumbs up to members of the Estates and Facilities team

Local NHS heroes come in many forms and this week our Trust has been celebrating staff who keep the lights on, unblock toilets, fix wheelchairs, and respond whenever an alarm sounds.

Security staff, receptionists, housekeepers, cooks, electricians and plumbers were amongst over 180 Estates and Facilities staff who were encouraged to down tools for a short period as chief executive Therese Patten and other senior staff visited their work places this week, sharing thanks and small gifts to recognize their work behind the scenes.

“Everyone thinks of clinicians as being at the heart of the NHS – and of course they are, but there’s a whole other army of talented NHS staff in all sorts of jobs you wouldn’t specifically associate with the health service, but who keep the wheels turning,” says Shane Embleton, deputy director of Estates and Facilities at the Care Trust.

The team provides services at 105 different sites, including Lynfield Mount Hospital and Airedale Centre for Mental Health and 38 local GP practices. They handle everything from manual and powered wheelchair repairs (over 2000 of them in the last year alone), to sourcing vans which deliver essential medical supplies and equipment. They greet visitors, answer ‘phones, keep the lifts moving, the automatic doors opening, the emergency lighting systems functioning and the boilers heating buildings.

They also cook a lot of meals – over 300,000 at Lynfield Mount Hospital last year, where the wards are kept clean and the grounds green by the Estates and Facilities team too. Housekeeping staff certainly keep fit whilst they work, walking an average of 12,000 steps a day – almost as many as the Trust’s security staff, who regularly clock up 15,000 steps in a shift.

It’s all part of the job – as is working to make the NHS greener and cleaner.  “Our Trust saved 48,643 kg CO2e, last year,” explains Energy, Waste and Sustainability manager Emma Clarke proudly, “which equates to taking 21 cars off the road and planting 66 trees.”

The Estates and Facilities team is also proud of its commitment to preventing accidents and ill-health. It has been recognised with nine consecutive gold awards from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) – their highest accolade.

Each member of the Estates and Facilities team received personal thanks, a packet of wild-flower seeds to sow wherever they choose and a sweet treat this week.