Kate, Soft FM Monitoring Officer

Kate Martin - outside.png

Why did you want to move into the role you’re currently in?

I knew several people who worked for the Trust, one of whom worked in the department I eventually applied to, and they couldn’t say enough good things about Team North West Anglia as an employer. Personal development, fair pay, opportunities for progression and growth, an excellent wider team of professionals, and a chance to really feel like you’re making a difference – what more could one ask for from a job?

Why North West Anglia?

Although I’m based in Peterborough, it wasn’t just the convenience of the location that made the Trust an easy choice for me. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to receive the care of members of staff at Peterborough City Hospital during my own personal experience as a patient and I knew that such a professional, knowledgeable and truly kind body of people was absolutely something I wanted to be part of.

What does your role involve?

My role involves monitoring the activities of our PFI partners and their contractors and ensuring they carry out their contractual and legislative duties within Peterborough City Hospital. I also hold responsibility for Waste Management and some elements of Sustainability across the entire Trust which has earned me a nickname in the office – Queen of the Bins!

Lots of people give me a blank look when I use my full job title and ask what it means. My colleague, Hard FM Manager Matthew Grant, has described Facilities Management beautifully; “If you remove all the people, then pick up the building and shake it, anything that stays put is Hard FM, and anything that falls out is Soft FM.” Hard FM involves but is not limited to electrical, water, lifts, grounds and gardens, pest control, fire, medical gases etc. Soft FM comprises but is not limited to catering, cleaning, portering, security, linen, traffic etc.

There is a lot of auditing, in clinical and non-clinical areas, both on and off site. I monitor physical and recorded activities, provide education and information to our staff members, perform Duty of Care visits on our waste contractors’ sites that often see me out of the office for full days, travelling up and down the country to ensure that our disposal sites are operating correctly. I hold a place on the agenda for Health and Safety meetings, and have numerous incentive and creative projects in progress in a bid to increase recycling, reduce waste and make our Trust a more sustainable and environmentally friendly organisation.

What do you love about your role?

So much!

The fact that no two days are ever the same means my job is still as exciting today as it was the day I started. There is always something new and different happening to challenge you and keep you on your toes, and every day is a learning opportunity in Facilities Management. I work across all of our sites, too, which really helps to keep things fresh!

The variation of people I meet and work with on a daily basis is also a huge morale booster. A large part of my role means I am frequently auditing around the building in various types of areas. I meet clinical staff, patients, visitors, other members of corporate, administration and secretarial staff…and everyone, without exception, is brilliant. New projects and ideas are met with excitement and enthusiasm. Problems and concerns are resolved quickly and professionally. Everyone is exceptionally skilled, incredibly friendly, and we’re all genuinely cheering everyone else on. There is a real sense of family here.

What are the benefits of working for North West Anglia?

The Trust have been incredibly supportive of career growth and personal development since the moment I set foot in the door. Our Organisational Development team are such a wonderful group, always bringing out the best in people and developing individual potential.

Our CEO and other senior members of staff are engaging and encouraging, always noting the hard work and recognising successes of teams and individuals, which really goes a long way in an environment that can be quite testing at times.

There’s always someone prepared to help, always someone prepared to share their knowledge, and without fail, there is always someone with a welcoming smile.

I’ve previously worked in several other Government organisations such as HMCS, HMRC and in local government with the City Council, and nothing has ever come close to the feeling of belonging and purpose that myself and my colleagues share here at the Trust.

How has your role developed during your time at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust, tell us about your journey at NWAngliaFT?

During my time at the Trust, I have been encouraged to join several industry specific forums and the CIWM, which has expanded my knowledge and my network of contacts dramatically and has been a real boost to my role.

The OD team runs various cohorts of their Growing Your Potential course which I attended during my first year with the Trust to ensure that I am constantly stretching myself to develop. My line manager had previously taken this course herself and didn’t hesitate to sponsor me for it, too.

I’ve been enrolled on a degree level course via distance learning that will see me with one of the very few recognised qualifications in the Healthcare Waste Management sector. I’m receiving full support and protected learning time to ensure that I have the time and assistance to achieve my full potential on this course.

I have also completed a total of three E-Learning courses provided by CIWM that have kept my knowledge of waste legislation current and up to date, and encouraged me to bring new ideas to the table for a more environmentally friendly and sustainable Trust.

And those are just the things that have resulted in certificates!

How has Covid-19 impacted on your role?

I initially struggled with the impact of Covid-19 and felt I wasn’t part of our fight against the virus. It wasn’t until a friend of mine, a nurse, scolded me by saying “Your team is keeping this building and our services running, making sure all the plates are still spinning in the background, which is allowing us to do our jobs safely. You’re doing more good than you realise!” Since then, I’ve had a renewed sense of purpose, knowing that my role here is actively supporting our frontline heroes!

Covid-19 has affected the entire world, and our hospitals have obviously been a huge focal point of the UK’s response. I have felt very proud of the achievements of our NHS during these often very worrying and uncertain times and I believe that NWAFT has shown others what we already know to be true; that we are a genuinely exceptional organisation of the most wonderful, skilled, kind and dedicated people. I am truly very privileged and proud to be part of it all!