Our healthcare heroes - Life during a pandemic and beyond: meet Mehul

Patient experience manager at The Wellington Hospital

What did a typical day look like before the pandemic?

My role as Patient Experience Manager involves me finding out from our patients how they are doing and asking them how they are finding their experience in the hospital. In some cases, I am assigned specific patients to speak to, and other times I will visit patients at random on the ward.  I want to hear as much as they’re willing to tell me about their experience – whether it be good or bad.

I want every patient to have an outstanding experience, so getting feedback in real-time from patients is a really important part of making sure we’re delivering this. If there are any concerns, I can then deal with them quickly and effectively.

How did your job role change?

When COVID-19 started to become a concern for the UK, my manager approached me and said that The Wellington Hospital were pulling together a PPE taskforce team and asked if I wanted to join. My role in this group was to visit the wards and get my head around how much PPE was required and feeding back to the team so that they could work on supplying the right amount of PPE during such a challenging time. 

This small group which I became a part of featured different job roles – from the Materials Manager whose job it was to source materials for the ward according to the numbers we gave him, and Senior Sisters who FIT tested staff, to the Theatre Lead giving us a PPE update within theatres and the Infection Control Nurse providing employees with guidance on correct mask protocol.

In order to find out how much PPE was required; I would visit the wards and speak to the staff directly. Because they already knew me quite well from my previous role, I was a friendly face who wanted to help them have the equipment they needed, so they seemed to really appreciate me visiting the wards. Seeing that we had the PPE supply carefully managed was incredibly reassuring for them.

What is it like working in a hospital now we’ve passed the peak of the virus?

The levels of anxiety from everyone in the hospital have definitely lowered. The PPE taskforce team have now been able to get back to our regular jobs. Whilst we’re transitioning into this ‘new normal’ I have also offered to help my former colleagues in Front of House to carry out temperature checks on anyone entering our building, as well as asking them the standard screening questions.

Whilst our patients notice that we’re doing things slightly differently, they’re incredibly receptive to the changes as they know that they’re in place to keep them safe in our hospital. 

What are the positive things you’ve taken from your experience?

Being a part of this PPE taskforce team has meant that I was able to work closely with staff members who I might not usually interact with as much which has been great – we managed to pull together so well as a team, working towards the same shared goal.

This teamwork was aided by having things such as a group WhatsApp, and an on-call phone to take emergency requests from the wards. Having these lines of communication open was so vital as things were changing so quickly. Communication was important for me personally too - I was unwell with COVID-19 symptoms and was off work for a few weeks – and in this time, the PPE taskforce team remained in touch via WhatsApp to check that my recovery was going well, which was invaluable to me.
Watch this short video to learn more about the way HCA Healthcare UK has adapted the way healthcare is provided in its hospitals and clinics.  
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