Today I’m chatting to a real double act, including one who only came to work here for three months to save for a three-piece suite – and hasn’t sat on her laurels as she’s stayed for 39 years!
I make no apology in continuing to throw the spotlight on the unsung heroes without whom our hospitals couldn’t function.
Both Lynn Morris, who says she has got through a few settees since being taken on by The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, and Vicky Burris work for the Hotel Services team.
They carry out weekly technical audits – reviewing and monitoring the cleanliness and environmental standards of very high-risk areas of New Cross and West Park Hospitals to ensure they comply with national guidelines.
Their work covers how clean everything – wards, beds and some of the 40,000-plus items of equipment the Trust uses – is in those areas.
Based in Building 12 at New Cross, Lynn, a Senior Monitoring Officer, checks all theatres, Beynon Centre and Delivery Suite, where she gets to hear babies’ first cries which “stop me in my tracks”. Vicky, a Quality Monitoring Officer who reports to Lynn, looks after the Emergency Department and Deanesly Centre.
Both have long connections with the Trust. Lynn, 66, a grandmother of four and mum of two from Penn, plans to retire next year after completing four decades with the organisation. Vicky, 41, of Wednesfield, was born at New Cross – where she had her 13-year-old son – and her mum Patricia was an auxiliary nurse (now healthcare assistant) at the hospital.
Lynn worked at the old Royal Hospital for 13 years as a Hotel Services Supervisor until it closed in 1997. Transferring to the Eye Infirmary in Chapel Ash as Senior Hotel Services Supervisor, she looked after porters, catering, security and domestics there for 10 years until it shut in 2007 when the service moved to New Cross.
“By now I was earning a reputation for closing hospitals down!” joked Lynn, who works 32 and a half hours a week over three days.
“I used to work as a wages clerk at Tarmac and my husband and I were saving for a three-piece suite at the time. Someone said there were jobs going at the hospital, so I applied and got taken on a three-month contract. Thirty-nine years later, I’m still here!
“Over the years it’s been rewarding to know I have played a part in providing reassurance and have improved standards for staff and patients.”
Vicky started work at the Trust in 2007, initially as a post room assistant in the payroll department prior to becoming a payroll assistant for several years.
She transferred to Hotel Services in 2014 as an administrator before joining the Quality Monitoring Team with Lynn.
“I do enjoy my job but it can be challenging, especially if you have senior staff questioning the audit,” said Vicky. “We check areas cleaned by nursing, housekeeping and estates staff and we do get questioned.
“Very high risk areas have to reach a standard of 98 per cent and that’s very difficult because it means they must be dust free.
“So you have to be positive, polite and assertive to explain why something might have failed and how they can get it right next time.”
Currently working towards a qualification in governance, Vicky said: “It is very challenging but I am determined to complete this with good marks and will apply this additional knowledge to my job role.”
Thank you so much for all you do, ladies.