VOTE FOR YOUR FRONTLINE HEROES AWARD WINNERS
The Frontline Heroes Award aims to shine a light on the unsung individuals and organisations that go that extra mile time and time again, encapsulating the spirit and professionalism of the workplace and facilities management industry. This category endeavours to give the incredible efforts by the entrants the opportunity to receive the recognition deserved.
Our judging panel were so impressed by the entries received for this category that they have now split it into two Awards:
Frontline Hero (Individual Award) and Frontline Heroes (Organisation Award).
It’s now your turn to get involved! Below are the entries and videos for the shortlisted entries for the two categories – grab a cuppa, sit down, read through the fantastic entries and vote for your winner! You can vote for one entry per category.
Voting is now closed and the winners will be announced at our awards ceremony on 11 October.
Frontline Hero (Individual Award)
Celebrating the individual Frontline Heroes within workplace and facilities management.
Kacem Benjelloun, Security Officer – Mitie Security/Sainsbury’s
Kacem Benjelloun is a Security Officer for Mitie on the Sainsbury’s contract. On Thursday the 3rd of September, Kacem was on duty at Sainsbury’s Whitechapel (night shift) when he was monitoring the perimeter of the store via the CCTV podium where he noticed a female standing on the edge of the car park on the second floor.
Kacem immediately went to the car park and saw the female appeared to be under the influence of drugs and was being verbally abusive. Kacem then notified a member of management who then joined Kacem at the scene with the distressed female still standing on the edge of the car park wall where they then called police who arrived approximately 5 minutes later.
When the police attended, they engaged in dialogue with the female who then attempted to jump before Kacem and one of the police officers were able to catch her safely. Police and the store both praised the efforts of Kacem, had he not been vigilant and quick to respond, the incident could have resulted in a tragic fatality.
The incident in which Kacem was involved in is a rare occurrence, and thankfully is not something ordinarily occurs in the day-to-day operations at Sainsbury’s. However, when it does occur it is obviously a particularly challenging and volatile situation to be involved with due to the immediate threat to life.
Kacem was able to quickly identify the potential suicide, take swift action to tend to the situation, notify the police, and remain calm under pressure so as not to exacerbate the situation in a way that could have potentially resulted in a fatality before the police could arrive at the scene; this was a true test of character, of Kacem’s knowledge of his role and training, and is a truly outstanding act.
Kacem acted in accordance with his training and had the course of action been any different, this most certainly would have resulted in the death of the member of public involved in the incident.
The way in which he dealt with this incident displays his ability to react to challenging situations that are emotionally charged whilst remaining calm under the pressure. He is a true role model and a measure that anyone working within a similar role in security should aspire to reach.
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James Bourne, General Assistant, NHS Property Services
James joined the Lewes Victoria Hospital support team on a temporary contract to help with cleaning and portering during the pandemic and quickly proved himself to his manager, colleagues and most importantly, the medical workers and patients. He was soon to fill a permanent post and was nominated by his colleagues for a NHSPS recognition award for his amazing commitment and hard work before he had even been working for a year. His colleagues have this to say about him which:
“James is an incredibly hard worker. I started around the same time as James did about a year ago. He has really lifted the place up! It is rare to see James in any mood apart from bubbly and joyful, and his laughter and attitude really makes everyones day when they see him. As a new team leader here, I can see James as setting the benchmark of service which will go towards ensuring that NHSPS at Lewes Vic have a bright and successful future.”
“James’ attention to detail, his sensitiveness to the needs of the patients and clients, and his generous and friendly attitude to his colleagues is outstanding nourishment for us here.”
“James’ personal story is very up-lifting. In spite of being diagnosed with epilepsy a few years ago James has come in and not only worked his full weekly shifts, but worked them to an exceptional standard that outshines others. James genuinely gives me hope for the future, because in difficult times such as now, he has proved that when people pull together and try, they can really make a difference in the world. Not just a champion, but an unsung hero, a gentleman, and a would be prototype for the model employee. James loves what he does, and we genuinely love him, here with us.”
“James’ positive attitude is infectious amongst the team and leads by example and is extremely self motivated. His commitment to work hard and achieving excellent standards is at the forefront of everything he does. James has had some particularly tough times over the last year with his epilepsy, where he has overcome these problems by staying upbeat and optimistic. He also contracted Covid from our site where he has been constantly exposed to Covid patients and has not shied away from this at any time to make sure the areas are kept clean, tidy, and infection free. He is quite inspirational and I feel lucky to work alongside him and have the honour to know such a wonderful colleague”.
James has been put forward for this award as he is a young man who has provided inspiration and lifted the morale of his colleagues and patients alike during a very difficult time for everyone.
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Lukasz Lacki and Mr. Sohail Sabar, Mitie Security/Mailbox Shopping Centre
On the 1st of August 2020 a resident from the Royal Arch apartments on level 10 of the Mailbox subsequently fell from height (five stories) and had lost consciousness. The Royal Arch concierge notified the Mailbox MITIE team and requested their support where the two employees responded to a distressing scene, presented with a fatally injured person. Both employees reacted as per the training and for over 30 minutes provided CPR to preserve the life of another under challenging circumstances whilst being filmed by person(s) in attendance. They coordinated and managed the crowds of person(s) who had attended, coordinated the emergency services while providing medical care to the injured person.
Post incident, they continued to provide care and support to those persons who were in the vicinity of the incident by advising and guiding those traumatised persons to the Samaritans as a care pathway.
As the Senior Management representative on site, I would say there is no greater achievement than trying to save the life of another especially under the intensely pressurised circumstances they endured. Their response and professionalism were exemplary actions, and they are a credit to our organisation and retail security UK wide.
Both individuals responded to a serious medical event where a resident had fallen (who had suffered poor mental health) five levels within the centre. They responded quickly and provided first-aid where the casualty had suffered multiple injuries and blood loss whilst controlling the crowds that had gathered and ensuring the integrity of the scene was maintained.
During the challenges of the event, they coordinated emergency services while performing CPR for over 30 minutes. There is no greater achievement in life than trying to save the lift of another. Their actions were exemplary, working through the exhaustion of delivering CPR to try and save the injured person’s life.
During the administration of first aid, they coordinated emergency services, continued to deliver CPR for over 30 minutes, protected the dignity of the fatally injured person, and controlled surrounding crowds who attempted to film the incident.
Post incident, they then provided support to those in attendance by giving guidance on the Samaritans helpline.
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Angela Longhurst, Facilities Co-Ordinator, NHS Property Services
Angela’s supportive and collaborative approach to facilities management and supporting our customers in delivery of their clinical services, stands out significantly with huge success over the past 12 months, through what has been challenging time across all working platforms and indeed industries.
For Angela, even though day to day business as usual activity remained active and demanding inclusive of re-commissioning clinical space, managing compliance, planned maintenance scheduling, reactive work requirements and all manner of general day to day service and team matters that arise; adding the addition of supporting our customers and teams though the COVID pandemic was a challenge accepted and raised too with 100% commitment.
In addition to the above, Angela’s commitment and time devoted to supporting COVID impacts has been widely appreciated from the start. There was a complete hands-on effort to ensure our buildings were assessed and action taken to promote COVID safety for our team, customers, and patients, with regular review where needed for any further actions required.
From the initial wave of the pandemic, Angela set up and managed local processes to ensure PPE flowed to our frontline colleagues. Her stock control was able to identify pinch points and ensure stock was moved to cover any impacts and ensure flow of PPE items.
More recently she has worked with colleagues from various providers to ensure the successful PCN vaccination clinic at Parkwood Health Centre. This includes direct feedback to CCG, Service providers and other Tenants. For this project, there was a large amount of organisation to accommodate internal space requirements, creation of recovery areas for patients and means to support high volume patient flow, all in conjunction with clinical service providers. This process involved being very reactive to needs, constant review with steer and share of best practices.
With such success displayed in management of PPE assignment, Angela was able to flex her current model to ensure lateral flow test kits were with the frontline colleagues across Kent and Medway within 24 hrs of them being delivered and therefore offering the wider team to feel confident with means of regular testing being available for all frontline team members.
Again, the above against pressures on her own work/life balance, increasing compliance performance and working through legacy issues shows great resilience and a desire to put her colleagues (internal and external) at the centre of her working day.
Angela’s contributions and ongoing successes have been a crucial driver of successful implementations and operations, that stands out and is highly valued. For all efforts made and continued in servicing our Teams, Customers, and our facilities, Angela is well in deserve of this nomination and is wished the very best of luck.
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Lucy MacNeill, a true community hero and inspiration within the FM industry
Lucy MacNeill is a Business Analyst working within the Eric Wright FM Digital Data Team. She is well-known across the business, for her dedication in supporting residents and community organisations in her local area – the Wyre district.
Working for Eric Wright FM, a company which is 100% owned by a charitable trust, Lucy is an inspiration to the workforce and a real trailblazer for social value.
The Wyre district is in the 20% most deprived, lower-tier local authority areas within England. Between 2015 and 2019, the Wyre district has become more deprived in six out of seven domains (income; employment; education; skills and training; health and disability; barriers to housing services; and living environment) according to Lancashire County Council.
As a resident within Wyre herself, Lucy spends more than 200 hours of her personal time, per month, supporting the community.
Lucy is a trustee of the Westview Community Association based in Fleetwood, Lancashire. The Association offers a range of facilities, accessible to the local community. Lucy is heavily invested in her work here and is responsible for creating initiatives to support health, education, and personal development.
Lucy coordinates community initiatives and applications for grant funding which have made a huge difference to the quality of services on offer – for example, Lucy:
- Applied for and secured a £5,000 Community Grant from the Eric Wright Charitable Trust to cover running costs of the Association for a year
- Works with local authorities to provide extra support for residents and has recently secured substantial funding for food support in the Wyre area
- She stocks foodbanks and has even managed to engage with youths, who now volunteer in the foodbank, instead of hanging around the street corners
- Provides support to people in emergency accommodation
- Supports the Association to run Duke of Edinburgh events, helping youths gain new skills and explore new territories
Lucy won the ‘High Sheriff of Lancashire’ award in October 2020 – which evidences her commitment.
Not only is Lucy working tirelessly to improve self-esteem and personal development, she is also actively improving aspirations within the community, facilitating a lifeline, increasing prospects and employment opportunities.
Lucy’s passion for helping people filters through, into her work as a Business Analyst. She has led the creation of many community-focused employee apps, which enable staff to take part in community events, volunteer for various ambassador roles and to generally become more involved in company social value initiatives.
Lucy is the ‘go-to’ across the company for support with community projects, she selflessly supports everyone to make a difference within their local community. Lucy also presented at this year’s National Social Value Conference, sharing her work and best practice on how to empower staff to drive social value – just another example of how she goes above and beyond to make a social impact.
The humanity and care that Lucy shows not only benefits her local community but empowers our staff to create social value in the places where they live and work.
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Babutunde Otumla (aka David), Janitor, CLD Services
Response to working throughout Lockdown, as well as his response to a sub-station explosion in the building!
Remaining focused, upbeat, and service driven, while dealing with the anxiety associated with working throughout a pandemic. David had to keep one eye on his own safety and wellbeing, while being responsible for ensuring the building remained safe and clean for occupiers to use. To add to the obvious concerns around personal safety, there was also job security to consider as colleagues and friends at the building were being placed on furlough or made redundant.
500 words wouldn’t be long enough to detail how amazing David’s response and attitude has been. He is an absolute gentleman and takes immense pride in his work. There has been a lot of talk in the property press around best in class service, sustainable design and building management, but none of this is possible to deliver without frontline heroes with passion. I have sought comment from some of the occupiers in the building who without hesitation offered up the following words:
“I couldn’t think of anyone more deserving of this award than David. The man always going above and beyond his duties, he never seems to be downbeat, always happy with that huge smile to welcome you through the doors. Any problems, David get it sorted right away. In addition, the building suffered a potentially very dangerous explosion in our electricity substation, with David very close and at risk. At all times he remained calm with his only priority being the safety of those in the building. A real positive person that always put a smile on your face. David is a huge credit to his company and family . “ Hudson Sandler
“David, you don’t only keep the building in a spotless condition, you carry out your tasks with a permanent smile! If I see you at 06:45 or late in the afternoon – there is always a grin on your face. I remember asking for a small favour on our floor – you just come and help whenever needed.
Employees and people with your personality and commitment levels should be cloned!” Ivana Vamosiova, Workday.
His employer has also commented:
“David has been with CLD since 2017 and has really developed into a trusted member of staff. However in the last 12 months during Covid lockdowns he really has stood out. He has not missed a day’s work during his whole time with us. Always finding a way into work from where he lives in East London, even if the trains or Buses were not running to a schedule that suited. Responding to the explosion, he helped with the work undertaken in the days following the incident, assisting in bringing the affected areas of the property back into use as quickly as possible, while also cleaning the rest of the building. This was quite simple outstanding.” Luke Williams, CLD.
There has been no drop in service throughout lockdown, and occupiers have felt comfortable attending the office knowing that it is being well maintained.
David would never put his name forward but it is important that the industry recognise that without David, nobody wins. Architects visions are not realised, Landlord’s sustainability objectives are not met, and excellent customer service is not received by occupiers.
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Frontline Heroes (Organisation Award)
Recognising the Frontline Heroes organisations within workplace and facilities management.
Edmonton Green Management Team
The on-site Edmonton Green Management team comprises of three key team members: Maria, The Operations Manager, Rebecca, The Retail Manager and Naomi, The Operations Assistant manager and together they run Edmonton Green shopping center which sits at the heart of the community.
With the continued Covid crisis, the team have been engaging with their community more than ever, and consider everyone from retailers, stakeholders and customers to residents and service partners part of it. It was quite apparent that everyone was impacted in some way and the team took it upon themselves to help by creating the Community Covid Response plan.
The plan was put together to look at ways in which the team could respond to those in need of help and to directly impact the lives of those within Edmonton Green. It was important to ensure all branches of the community were touched and to unite these groups to achieve the overall goal of supporting all community groups of Edmonton.
The team put together the Covid Response plan which included a range of initiatives such as launching a free little community library, The Salvation army Christmas present appeal, food parcels and baby bank donations coupled with retailer support packages to help them and cover costs their marketing and advertising.
Between August 2020 – April 2021 over £7,000 has been raised for charities, they have supported three local schools which in turn has helped 295 pupils, aided five local organisations which has helped 457 families and aided retailers in obtaining free advertising and marketing materials to help drive sales during store closers and restrictions.
Christina, chair of Edmonton Parents group said, “I love connecting with my local community and seeing the shopping center leading the way in community partnership with its residents and the wider community is just inspiring.”
The team prides itself that despite all these extra initiatives which are above and beyond the role of most facilities managers that the shopping center has still been maintained, there were no slips in the usual day-to-day management and tenant engagement was at an all-time high.
Huseyin Akar, Tenant and owner of Fat Boys Café said, “My thanks go out to the center management team. Not only have they been proactive in supporting their tenants they have been working hard to keep the center operating to high standard along with supporting their community.”
We believe the meaningful community engagement initiatives the team have implemented deserve to be recognised. We consistently ensure there are local voices present when developing the centers activities whether they be customers, retailers, or service partners. We see the local community as a collection of partners and valuable insights – not simply a customer base to be served.
Crucially, the team recognises that such engagement cannot be a one-off event – that evolving the plan and listening to what is happening locally will help understand how they can help is an ongoing process and this is what makes the team true front-line heroes.
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Keeping the DWP working during the pandemic – Mitie
This submission recognises the frontline heroes of Mitie’s contract with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP); the facilities managers, cleaning and postroom staff whose work kept their buildings open and operating during the 2020 pandemic. Mitie provide a total facilities management service in 878 job centres, training centres and office locations across the UK.
At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, the challenge facing the team was more than just one of providing “extra cleaning”. Almost immediately, the client identified a need for additional health & safety support – it was imperative to keep the business moving in Covid-safe environments. Additionally, the economic situation meant that the DWP faced its own accelerated pressures which we needed to support.
Additionally, our workforce included many people who needed to shield, quarantine and isolate, but the frontline role means staff have to be on site, placing extra pressure on those already in post.
Where cleaners had previously worked a few hours overnight, shifts changed to eight daytime hours and the cleaning staff became an integral support team working alongside DWP staff. We added 30 additional Cleaning Supervisors and 1000 extra cleaners, providing an additional 40.000 cleaning hours every month.
Part of the cleaning role also had to adapt to include “touchpoint cleaning”; this occurs every time a member of the public leaves and before the next arrives. Depending on whether a staff member is symptomatic or tests positive, our cleaners also provide whole floor cleaning.
Our postroom teams were also involved in the distribution of considerable amounts of cleaning products and PPE both for ourselves and the DWP in order to support this effort; the table below refers:
Sanitiser bottles 192,799
Disposable Masks – Single 1.5M
Reusable Masks – Single 170K
Visors – Single 12,164
5L Sanitiser 1200
Sanitiser Units 1300
Gloves boxes of 100 1796
Disposable gloves 69,847 boxes
Disposable aprons 2.7 million
Disposable masks – single-use 255K
Reusable masks 7K
At a basic level, the most fundamental measure of success is that we have kept the clients’ business operational with very few building closures.
More significantly, there has been a massive change in how our cleaning operatives are viewed – previously unseen and working out of hours, the team are now clearly defined key workers, supporting the DWP response to the pandemic. The cleaning role is now recognised by building users as vital to their health and safety and the Facilities Manager is seen as a key part of this solution.
Our team should win this award for their mammoth contribution not only to our business but also to the vital work of the DWP and in demonstrating the very best that facilities management and frontline heroes can offer during the best but also the worst of times. We are extremely proud of them and whilst we have thanked and recognised them ourselves – as have the most senior figures within the DWP – we would love to see this formally recognised from our peers within the industry.
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PTSG’s Mental Health First Aid Trainers
PTSG’s Mental Health First Aid Trainers – Terry Wilcock (the Group’s HSE Director) and Paul Campbell (Group NVQ Assessor).
Premier Technical Services Group Ltd (PTSG) has an award-winning approach to health and safety, which is illustrated through its achievement of nine RoSPA Golds (a tenth will follow later this year). In tandem with this, HSE Director Terry Wilcock has made mental health a corporate priority. Ultimately, he wants to see physical and mental health addressed as one.
The profile of mental health and its importance are gradually being raised, but there is a long way to go until the stigma surrounding mental health issues disappears. In an industry such as FM, which is male-dominated, individuals are even less likely to come forward for help. That is the challenge that Terry Wilcock, together with Paul Campbell, are working to overcome.
In early 2020, Terry and Paul delivered the first of several two-day mental health first aid training courses. They presented the concept behind mental health first aid, enabling people to be proactive in offering help and support to colleagues. As a result of the course, Paul Campbell achieved the qualification Mental Health First Aid Trainer through Mental Health First Aid England. Both Paul and Terry are qualified Mental Health First Aid Trainers.
There are now 20 Mental Health First Aid Trainers in the Group. This gives every one of the 1,350 individuals spread throughout 37 UK locations access to an expert – their first port of call in addressing their issues.
People are now actively approaching PTSG’s Mental Health First Aiders for help. This is a real culture change and clear proof that Terry and Paul’s work is paying off. One employee, an engineer from the Group’s steeplejack division, was suffering mental ill health and sought advice from Paul Campbell.
After listening to him, Paul could see that his life was on hold. He expressed that he was confused with many aspects of his life and was almost suicidal. Paul met with him and his mother on several occasions. He then signposted him to the professional consultation he so desperately needed.
He took all the advice on board and started the recovery process. In the first instance he went to his GP; then he spoke with a Councillor appointed by the GP. Paul also put him in touch with relevant professionals such as Samaritans, Sane Line and Mind Ingoldmells.
Although the engineer has now left PTSG, he regularly keeps in touch and has told Paul how his life is now back on track.
Terry Wilcock and Paul Campbell have worked diligently to ensure that every single person within PTSG’s large and growing workforce (currently numbering 1,350) has access to a trained professional who can give them specific help with their mental health issue.
In 2020, PTSG received the Charter for Employers Positive about Mental Health. This, along with examples of success like the one above, clearly shows that their hard work is paying off and is receiving recognition.
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Queen’s Hospital Romford – Oxygen Project Team – Sodexo
Disclaimer: Although interviewees were not filmed wearing masks, all others involved in the filming were and social distancing was maintained
Queen’s hospital Romford is a 1000 bed acute PFI hospitals and part of Barking, Havering, Redbridge University Trust (BHRUT), which has two NHS hospitals.
During the first wave Queen’s Hospital (QH) Romford was one of the busiest in the country and during the second wave in the winter / Christmas period of 2020 QH was the busiest COVID 19 hospital in the Country because during this 2nd wave the catchment area experienced the highest Covid infection rates in the country and was approximately two weeks ahead of the rest of London and the demand for oxygen exceeded the capacity of the system. This situation caused NHS England to invoke their emergency plans and daily meetings where being held between BHURT, NHS England, Funders, Albany, Catalyst, Sodexo and British Oxygen Company (BOC) as we had breached their 60% usage trigger. Queen’s Hospital has a BOC Vacuum Insulated Evaporator (VIE) oxygen system via two oxygen tanks, the main tank and a smaller reserve tank, which has a design capacity to supply 3000 litres per minute. QH normal usage is circa 800 to 1500 l/pm (40%-50% capacity) during normal conditions. Since installation the VIE it has always been a single point of failure due to not having any connection/valves to allow for any resilient connection of either addition manifolds or a second VIE. During the 1st wave, the oxygen usage was consistently above 2500 l/m and exceeded 2900 l/m regularly, which caused concerns that the regulator valve may freeze and cause a catastrophic failure of the piped oxygen. The other risk when operating at and above the maximum operating range, is a drop in pressure within the system which could see a critical care ward on the 4th floor have issues with ventilators. To mitigate the risk to patients and reduce demand on the system, circa 120 portable oxygen concentrators and circa 35 “W” size oxygen cylinders (industrial size) were deployed by the Sodexo Porters for all patients needing less than 5 l/m of oxygen around all wards with the intention of reducing the demand on the piped system. It should be noted ventilated patients require up to 50 l/m and the average demand for a COVID19 patient is 10 to 15 l/m.
To achieve this level of control and risk mitigation the clinical teams spent many hours putting in place processes and procedures to ensure a real time log of patient usage was available. This was supported by the installation of a flow meter on the main oxygen supply pipe which measured the actual through put of oxygen and therefore gave an accurate live reading of usage. This was then checked against the BOC telemetry on the main oxygen tank and supplied twice daily by BOC. Unfortunately there was a discrepancy between the flow meter reading and the telemetry and although during the shutdown of the system in August 2021, which we completed in a way that allow each area to be shut down in a systematic way, we have never been able to close that gap.
Towards the end of the first wave in July 20, the oxygen demand reduced to around 700 l/pm as the COVID patient numbers dropped and the hospital still had restrictions in place in terms of a normal operation. Sodexo put forward a draft plan to completely shut the VIE system down and the halt the piped supply of oxygen to the hospital, in order to install two inline valves and a vent point to the system to facilitate either a temporary, emergency or additional VIE plant to be connected in, this project would also future proof the system as well as providing much need resilience.
A project team was quickly assembles that include nurses, doctors, technical specialist, senior director of Catalyst, Sodexo, BOC and NHSE. A member of BHRUT Executive team took the lead role and was project sponsor. After many meetings, discussions and planning session, which also included our Authorising
Engineer and specialist contractor, the Trust were able to take the proposal to NHSE for final sign off. Many meetings later an agreed approach was approved and a date set. The date suddenly became critical as the then mothballed Nightingale Hospitals were to be brought back on line for the to the plan which would provide the hospital with a greater O2 resilience. We turned off the main O2 supply the 1000-bed acute hospital at midnight on 12 Aug 20. The whole hospital was connected to O2 cylinders for 12 hours, including COVID critical areas, such as the Emergency Departments and the Respiratory wards. To minimise H&S risks and reduce the number of cylinders on the wards, back-feed kits were connected into the piped system for high flow areas and connected in to the local AVSU’s. All other areas were managed with portable HX cylinders and oxygen concentrators at the bed side. The Porters and Managers were crucial in deploying these kits. By successfully completing this project we had not only provided the system with back up resilience connections but made the necessary provisions to allow us to upgrade the regulator from 3000 l/pm to 5000 l/pm.
When the second wave started to gather momentum a 2 x 40 “W” size O2 cylinder manifold was installed and connected through one of the new 76mm inline valves that had been installed during the August shutdown. This solution provides further resilience by being able to maintain the 4 bar pressure the system requires also provide circa 2-3 hours back up should the whole system fail, giving time to defrost the regulator and reinstate the system.
During the winter and Christmas of 2021 the second wave increased demand above the capacity of the system and at the worst time hit 110% of capacity and the regulator was in serious risk of freezing. To help control the risk of freezing the Hard FM team worked around the clock de-icing the VIE plant in sub-zero temperatures, as the demand remained consistently high and regularly exceeded design capacity during the night, so it was absolutely critical to protect the VIE evaporators and regulator from freezing up and stopping the flow of oxygen to protect those hundreds of patients dependent on a stable oxygen supply. The risk of oxygen unavailability was serious enough for BHRUT to start to plan for which patients would receive oxygen, a position no clinician would ever want to find themselves in.
With the support of NHS England and their national oxygen emergency response team it was decided to fast track the upgrade of the 3000 l/m regulator to a 5000 l/m one. There was not time to have one manufactured and NHS England and BOC were able to revise their upgrade rollout programme to elevate Queen’s Hospital to the front of the list. This required a rapid planning exercise involving multiple organisations and the Trust clinical and emergency planning teams.
To build in more resilience to the system for these works it was decided to install a high flow manifold which would house 40 W size oxygen cylinders, with 20 live and 20 in standby. This provided 2 to 3 hours of operation if the main VIE failed. It also help to provide additional pressure to the main VIE if the demand exceeded the design capacity. Following a period of intense planning and modelling it was agreed the 5000 l/m regulators could be safely installed. It should be noted the system has two regulators one on the main tank and one of the reserve and both had to be replaced.
Due to the pre planning and the way the installation of the new regulators was under taken, it was possible to keep the hospital running on the reserve tank for two hours whilst the main take was completed and the revert back to the main tank whilst the reserve tank was completed. This was only possible due to the significant risk planning and mitigation by the Trust, NHSE/I, BOC, Project Company and Sodexo, including their technical experts.
It was recognised at the contract Strategic Partnership Board that the completion of these works demonstrated the ability of the BHRUT and the PFI team to create a multifunction
group who worked collaboratively with the NHSE/I oxygen risk team and BOC along technical specialist. Queen’s Hospital is now one of the most resilient hospitals using piped oxygen in the country today, thanks to the efforts of many people from multiple organisations and clinical departments.
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Estates and Facilities Team – University of Huddersfield
Due to the pandemic, the University closed on 20th March 2020 with all staff working from home apart from Estates and Facilities. Our frontline staff returned to campus to physically close down buildings and make them safe and secure, and many have remained to perform essential duties. In doing so, they have demonstrated their outstanding commitment to the University.
Initially there was limited Government guidance, other than maintain social distancing and wash your hands, but these staff continued to attend every day as they understood that despite a national lockdown, some duties just needed to be done.
Increased security patrols were deployed to keep the town centre campus secure. Campus Support carried out the mammoth task of daily legionella flushing, allowing our buildings to reopen quickly and avoiding costly water disinfection procedures. Maintenance staff undertook electrical inspections of fire alarms, lifts and backup generators weekly and daily checks of plant rooms, boilers and fire safety systems. Cleaners serviced laboratories where alcohol gel was manufactured for the NHS, and kept the areas where staff worked clean. Our Stores Supervisor worked tirelessly sourcing and procuring PPE, alcohol gel and antiviral cleaning products.
As activity increased on campus, cleaners on furlough volunteered to return to work, appreciating their work was at the forefront in protecting staff from infection risk. Management concerns around absence due to stress or anxiety were unnecessary, as sickness absences have remained low throughout the pandemic.
Campus Support prepared the campus for the return of students in September, every teaching space was socially distanced and excess furniture was removed to 16 containers. Catering staff returned, happy to be redeployed to carry out cleaning of the 169 general teaching spaces between student cohort changes, their contribution to students receiving some face to face teaching.
When the Government asked Universities to provide COVID testing facilities, our maintenance staff created the facility from conception in just 17 days. Many cleaners and catering staff volunteered to work in the centre and continue to help with testing, with our Hospitality Supervisor redeployed as the Floor Manager.
When we reflected with colleagues over the past year, one thing noted time and again was the positivity of our team members, even in those early months when their managers were working from home. Throughout all the uncertainty and despite their own fears and worries for themselves and loved ones, their attitudes bolstered not only each other but colleagues and students, visitors and contractors alike, helping to dispel their concerns and fears.
Team members are rightly proud of the role they have played in developing and maintaining the University’s Covid-secure environment. Working relationships have strengthened, and while many have dealt with difficult personal issues, their colleagues have been incredibly supportive.
Staff and researchers who returned to work on campus last summer have also recognised how they could not have done this without our team’s efforts, acknowledging the hard work of the Estates and Facilities frontline team in a recent survey.
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Merseyside team – VINCI Facilities
A MILESTONE YEAR
2020 marked a milestone year for VINCI Facilities’ 76-strong Merseyside team. Amidst the pandemic, this FM team supported the successful launch of Clatterbridge Cancer Centre (an 11-storey new-build hospital), enabling it to open eight weeks early.
At the same time, the team maintained industry-leading standards within its two other sites – St Helens Hospital and Whiston Hospital – with both being classed as ‘Outstanding’ by CQC (Care Quality Commission) and ‘Excellent’ by PLACE (Patient-led Assessments of the Care Environment). Additionally, the PLACE assessment saw the Trust named the best NHS Trust in England, scoring top marks for ‘cleanliness’ and ‘condition of buildings’ – both areas where VINCI Facilities’ team played a vital role.
The past year also saw the team deliver:
• £10.2m of major variations at St Helens Hospital and Whiston Hospital, including the installation of a Combined Heat & Power system that’s reduced emissions and costs by 3,600 tonnes and £960k p.a, respectively.
• £6.654m of social value activities (calculated using VINCI Facilities’ bespoke Social Value Framework); 32% higher than any other healthcare contract within the business.
These achievements were only possible due to a relentless commitment in the following areas:
1-DEVELOPING THE TEAM
In recent years VINCI Facilities has invested c.£60k p.a. on developing the team (equating to c.3,340 training hours p.a.), equipping them with the vital skills required to deliver their recent achievements.
To accommodate the new hospital, last year saw VINCI Facilities expand the team with 22 new recruits, and mobilise, train and familiarise a dedicated team to be stationed at that site. With many of VINCI Facilities’ external providers closed due to the pandemic, the team’s leaders developed a suite of 30 training videos, which were used to train its own team as well as the clients’.
VINCI Facilities utilised the expansion of the team as an opportunity to promote 12 of its long-standing colleagues. This also strengthened the opportunities for women within the team, with three female colleagues gaining significant new responsibilities.
To aid communication, the team developed a bespoke work order monitoring system called ‘VICCI’, which provides customisable, real-time, fully-automated, interactive displays with visual and auditory alerts. Displayed on 65” monitors in the FM offices, VICCI supports the delivery of KPIs by ensuring the status of each work order is efficiently communicated.
3-LIMITING THE IMPACT OF COVID-19
To limit the impact of COVID-19, the team exceeded its contracted works by taking ownership on the following activities:
• Clatterbridge Hospital: To ensure the building could be completed on time despite the restrictions created by the pandemic, the team spent 3,150+ hours supporting the construction contractor by conducting building works, managing defects and commissioning the building.
• Whiston Hospital and St Helens Hospital: The team provided vital resources (including scrubs, oxygen, and clinical waste facilities) for the Trust while its supply chain was restricted. What’s more, it installed full-height virus-prevention screens throughout the intensive care unit.
The team’s efforts saw it achieve exceptional KPI scores across the board, including an overall customer satisfaction score of 98%.
The team’s client at Clatterbridge Hospital stated: “VINCI Facilities’ team are a shining light in the industry”, while the client at St Helens Hospital and Whiston Hospital added: “VINCI’s team – from the Managing Director to the engineers on the ground – have shown a commitment to the partnership and the NHS that we will never forget.”
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