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NHS office staff tell how they volunteered to help cleaning colleagues
NHS Lanarkshire board secretary Paul Cannon swapped his suit for a plastic apron as he scrubbed beds, cleaned areas around beds and handed out patient meals to help hard-pressed clinical colleagues at a busy hospital.
Paul (pictured with Gillian Mathie (left) and Laura Dempster), was one of many office-based staff who put their day jobs to one side to help out as Lanarkshire's hospitals managed unprecedented numbers of patients needing care for winter illnesses.
Backroom staff from NHS Lanarkshire's Kirklands HQ in Bothwell responded enthusiastically when they were asked to assist clinical colleagues, and Paul was delighted to do his bit at University Hospital Hairmyres in East Kilbride.
"I'm normally at my desk, arranging meetings, doing administrative work and supporting the board's chief executive and chair," he says.
"At the hospital I was helping out in an area of the busy acute assessment unit. The staff trained me to do some 'bed busting' - that's a thorough clean of beds, mattresses and areas around beds after patients leave the unit to ensure beds are ready for the next patient as soon as possible.
"I was very impressed to see the hard work of the regular hospital staff in such testing circumstances and the experience reminded me that we are all in our jobs to deliver the best possible healthcare."
Other staff who helped out at Hairmyres included deputy director of finance Derek Yuille, who found himself packing and shifting boxes to help create more bed space, along with other volunteers from HQ including management accountant Yvonne Kennedy.
Medical director's PA Jacqueline Logan was also phoning patients. Jacqueline, from Blantyre, said: "I was more than happy to help out and it was fantastic to see the hospital staff and volunteers pulling together."
Hairmyres director of hospital services Joanne Edwards says: "The volunteers have been a great practical help and I'm delighted that everyone who has turned up has been so positive."
11th January 2018