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Behind the scenes: An insight into the role of a portering supervisor

Want to know what goes on behind the scenes in a busy hospital? This Insight into the role of a portering supervisor gives you an inside look!

A career in portering services

Steven started his NHS career as a domestic assistant, working part-time while still at school. He then worked as a shift driver. For the very first Healthcare Estates and Facilities Day, Steven told us about his present job as a portering supervisor in a busy hospital

Celebrating Healthcare Estates and Facilities Day!

Steven shares his career story on Healthcare Estates and Facilities Day.

Steven's story

Steven tells us about his role as a portering supervisor and why he's proud to work in the NHS.

What's a typical day like for you?

My day varies, depending on which shift I'm on. At the start of my shift, I do a handover with the controller that I'm relieving. They'll make me aware of any high-priority jobs, update me on staff sickness, and identify extra duties that I have to cover.

I would then get phone calls from wards, support workers, and the labs with different jobs, which I must prioritise and put onto the portering task creation system. I would have a pool of porters on shift who select these jobs through the task creation system and book it depending on the priority.

The best part of my day is lunchtime, as I get to catch up with my team in the bothy. It gives me the chance to chat with them all and make sure they're all physically and mentally able to do the job. I also enjoy the bravado they all have.

What are the most important skills for a portering supervisor?

I would say the most important skills for a portering supervisor are cooperation, communication, organisation, and people skills.

There are about 120 porters in the department, all working different shifts. I work with the other supervisors to create rotas, maximising our workforce in the most efficient way possible.

Some of the phone calls we get are a little bit heated as people are worried about their patients. We've got to try and de-escalate the situation and get the correct information that we need to do our job correctly. It could be collecting and delivering blood samples or getting patients transferred to different areas of the hospital.

I have got to cooperate well with every department and with my staff working the floor. I've got to be in constant communication with them to stop people from going for the same jobs or down to the same areas of the hospital. We've got to keep an even spread right throughout the department.

These are all things the supervisor team have to navigate to run a smooth and successful operation for the best possible patient care.

What makes you proud to be a portering supervisor?

What makes me proud to be a portering supervisor in the NHS is my staff, especially during the recent pandemic.

My staff have all given nothing short of one hundred percent right throughout the pandemic. All of them have gone above and beyond to pick up the extra workload, pick up extra shifts, and stay back to help other shifts out at a moment's notice. Just seeing the way they've all joined together to support each other has made me extremely proud.

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