29 May 2009
Epsom and St Helier hospitals are now even safer places to be for patients and employees, as 25 staff gained a national qualification in health and safety last week.
The staff, who range from midwives to assistants in the Trust's IT team, have just passed the level 3 NVQ in Operational Safety and Health.
To pass, they had to prove to assessors that they can reduce risks posed to the health and safety of patients and staff, as well as be able to promote the benefits of a healthy and safe culture in the workplace.
Paul Maskell is the Trust's lead for health and safety and is one of the project leaders for the NVQ initiative. He said: "We want to make our hospitals as safe as possible, and the way to do that is by empowering our staff to make a difference. These members of staff have improved their knowledge of health and safety issues and can now pass on their experience to the people around them.
"Obviously, this is great news for everyone at our hospitals, but it's also a boost for the members of staff that now have this nationally recognised qualification. It's a fantastic way to get something back. All of their hard word has paid off."
One member of staff to successfully complete the course is ward manager, Nse Ekpenyong. She said: "Doing the NVQ has really helped me to be aware of the risks that can occur in the workplace, and now that I have learnt about those things, I can keep an eye out for problems that might occur on my ward. It's going to benefit all of our patients, staff and visitors."
With 35 more staff members aiming to complete the NVQ later this year, and another 30 due to begin the qualification in September, it is hoped that the project will continue for some years.
"Good risk management and knowledge of health and safety in the workplace is absolutely vital, and it's something that we should all be passionate about. We welcome the fact that so many of our staff are keen to do something like this, and it shows that they have a real interest in putting safety first," added Paul.
Certificates will be presented to the successful candidates at a formal ceremony in September.