COOKS, cleaners and other unsung heroes that work behind the scenes at hospitals in Hampshire have been celebrated.  

Solent NHS Estates and Facilities has taken part in the first National healthcare Estates and Facilities day. 

The occasion has been organised to raise the profile of the important work which goes on in the background at hospitals. 

Over the past year, Solent’s Estates and Facilities team of more than 300 has worked to ensure its sites across the Southampton and Portsmouth area, continue to operate safely and effectively.

Daily Echo: Catering staff at Solent NHS Estates and Facilities.Catering staff at Solent NHS Estates and Facilities.

Mark Young, Associate Director of Estates Transformation, said: “Although so much of our work goes on in the background and is primarily about buildings, we are absolutely an industry of people.
“It’s our passionate and committed staff who determine our success, and this day of national celebration provides us with the perfect opportunity to thank them for everything they do.”

The trust's catering team had to meet extra demand during the pandemic and took on additional tasks like providing drinking water for staff and making up hundreds of “grab bag” packed meals for vaccination centre teams.

Solent’s cleaners had to increase cleaning of “touch point” areas on wards and in public places.

Security teams worked closer than ever to maintain service levels against a backdrop of Covid-related constraints whilst taking on more jobs such as covering portering duties.

Meanwhile Solent’s 18-strong maintenance team handled 6,792 job requests in their first year of being fully in-house.

But despite the pandemic, Solent NHS Estates’ projects team pushed on with numerous transformation schemes.

READ MORE: Tributes paid to Southampton NHS porter 'who was part of the fabric of the Princess Anne Hospital'

In April 2021, the doors opened on the organisation’s modern combined health hub at a former Chinese restaurant site in Eastleigh's Swan Centre. 

To say thank you for their work, every member of the Estates and Facilities team is to receive a cupcake and a specially designed badge.

Daily Echo: Security staff at Solent NHS Estates and Facilities.Security staff at Solent NHS Estates and Facilities.

The day, marked on Wednesday, also saw the launch of its first staff awards, with one outstanding team member receiving a surprise accolade including a voucher, framed certificate and a unique gold version of the badge.

Andrew Strevens, Chief Executive at Solent NHS Trust, said: “Our Estates and Facilities team has an excellent reputation which just keeps growing.

"We are lucky at Solent to have such an amazing group of people who pull together to deliver outstanding results; the team is critical in the delivery of continued high-quality patient care and I welcome this opportunity to recognise and celebrate that.”

A new publication called Our Year 2021-22, showcasing some of the team’s highlights and achievements from the past year, has also been released as part of the day.

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