Chris, Health and Safety Training Facilitator, NHS Grampian

I’m Chris. I work for NHS Grampian as a health and safety training facilitator.

What did you first do when you left school?

When I left school, I got a summer job working in a supermarket phone shop. The contract was initially 12 hours per week, but I was given a full-time contract within 6 months. I was promoted to a more senior role during my time there.

What attracted you to working in the NHS?

Several factors attracted me to work in the NHS. The main one is job security. Whilst working in the supermarket, there was a massive change in job roles and many staff were demoted or paid off. I was fortunate to keep my job. However, I was concerned about future job security. I also thought that NHS Grampian had better staff benefits, such as staff pension and development opportunities.

How did you get started?

I started working in domestic services, before moving into an auditing role in estates and facilities. I then moved to my current role of health and safety training facilitator.

Describe your day-to-day role

I do health and safety training for facilities staff such as domestic assistants, catering assistants, maintenance staff, and those working in the Central Decontamination Unit. I do moving and handling, stress at work, and control of substances hazardous to health (COSHH) training with them.

What skills are the most important for you to do your job well?

Good communication skills are key! Being able to communicate your needs and being able to understand other people’s needs and concerns is really important. It allows us to work together to complete our mutual goals, such as statutory training, and working safely and legally.

What advice would you give a school leaver thinking about working in the NHS?

There are so many different roles in the NHS. As well clinical staff, we also have staff who keep the hospital clean, maintained, and safe. We also have people who look after other members of staff and there are people who help to develop staff, amongst others. Working in the NHS, you help to protect and care for patients. We all have a role to play!

Tell us what makes you proud to be a key worker during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Everyone coming together and doing their best to keep high standards of patient care in our hospitals and health centres during an unpredictable time.