Made up of over 1,000 staff, the NHS estates and facilities teams work across NHS organisations in Lincolnshire, providing a wide range of vital support and services.
The importance of these teams has been highlighted, perhaps more than ever before, during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Sarah Connery, Chief Executive, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, explains:
“Our Lincolnshire services simply could not run without the hard work and dedication of our NHS estates and facilities teams. The COVID-19 pandemic has really brought into sharp focus the work of the whole NHS, including our estates and facilities teams and we are so grateful for what they do because quite simply we couldn’t operate without them.”
The National Healthcare Estates and Facilities Day will become an annual event and will be used to reflect on the work done by estates and facilities professionals across the country.
Director of Estates and Facilities at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Mike Parkhill, said: “The launch of the first ever National Healthcare Estates and Facilities Day recognises the amazing work and
support provided, often behind the scenes, by our estates and facilities teams.
“Across Lincoln, Grantham and Pilgrim hospitals, we have more than 1,000 estates and facilities colleagues working in areas from catering, to portering, health and safety, switchboard, stores, security, fire safety, estates and capital projects, housekeeping, deep clean teams, sewing room, laundry room, linen room, car parking and so many other areas.
“They not only support the day to day running of our hospitals, but are also at the centre of any developments, as well as responding to any incidents. The expertise they have provided in response to COVID-19 and the recent fire at Lincoln County Hospital has been invaluable.
They are a team that regularly go above and beyond to keep our patients and staff safe.
“Without them our hospitals and amazing teams would not be able to care for our patients. It is great to have a day to recognise all of their hard work and dedication, and to say a massive thank you.”
In Lincolnshire, the NHS estates and facilities teams work across many different parts of the healthcare system, as John Clarke, Associate Director of Estates and Facilities, Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust, explains:
“Our estates and facilities teams work across the entire NHS system in Lincolnshire, often in very trying conditions, at all times of the day and night to keep things going. Without them we couldn’t run our community and mental health services because we wouldn’t have access to all of the crucial things that keep them running, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for everything they do.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought with it considerable media attention, including – possibly for the first time – a spotlight on the work of the estates and facilities teams in the county, who rapidly adapted buildings and ways of working to support the changes needed to meet the COVID-19 care needs.
Sarah adds: “The pandemic has been really tough for all of us, including colleagues across the NHS in Lincolnshire. Our colleagues in our estates and facilities teams are so often the unsung heroes of what the NHS does, and I hope we can begin to change that and, in asking people to reflect on their ongoing significant contributions, recognise them for their monumental efforts in keeping the NHS in Lincolnshire going.”