It’s hard to believe I’ve been here almost as long as the hospital. I joined as a housekeeper 25 years ago, just four days after the doors first opened and my role involved cleaning the hospital, which was quiet at the time. Private healthcare was a new concept so business was slow at first.
I’d actually wanted to join as an auxiliary but there weren’t any of those jobs available at the time. It worked out for the best however because after a couple of years, I applied for the part-time role of physio assistant and trained while on the job. This involved completing my NVQ level 3 as well as a wide variety of other courses. Nowadays I still work in the physio team and I’m also one of the qualified first aiders within the hospital. Best of all, Spire Washington Hospital actively encourages continual professional development so I get to stay up to date with the very latest practice and thinking, which is a definite perk.
In the last 25 years I’ve certainly seen a lot of change. For example, we’ve been taken over quite a few times. When I started, the hospital was owned by Independent British Hospitals, then it was sold to Goldsborough before moving to BUPA and then finally becoming part of the Spire Healthcare Group in 2007.
Over the years the physio department has changed significantly. In the beginning we were based in a portable cabin and we expanded into a unit that had previously been used as a four bed day ward. Eventually and under the Spire brand we moved into a bespoke physio suite with a gym and these facilities will soon be extended again.
The growth of the hospital has been phenomenal and the number of patients has grown hugely, resulting in a lot more staff. Nowadays in physio we see patients every half hour and run all sorts of classes for knee and hip patients. Our back clinic is well subscribed too.
As for the future, I certainly have no plans to move. I love the job and my daughter works here too. It’s a very friendly and nurturing environment and you can see many examples of real career progression because so many of us have been here for years. With our highly motivated team, this is a special place to be.
From what I understand, there are more expansion plans afoot for Spire Washington Hospital which is fantastic and there’s no doubt we’ll continue to harness the changes in technology to enhance our services. The fact we’ll soon have more accommodation for patients is something we’re all looking forward to – we’re very proud of our growth and the fact we’re committed to providing the very highest quality healthcare is one of the reasons I love to come to work each day.