The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

LTHT porter up for national Skills for Health ‘Our Health Heroes’ award

19 October 2017

Paul Tobin, General Porter at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, has been announced as the regional winner of Skills for Health’s ‘Our Health Heroes’ Operational Services Support Worker award.

Paul Tobin 1

Paul has now been put forward to the public vote to decide the national winners, which will be revealed in an awards ceremony in November.

Paul was inspired to set up ‘Porter Huddles’ - the first of their kind in the UK - at St James’s Hospital in 2016 after hearing Dr Anna Winfield, LTHT doctor in elderly medicine and Patient Safety Manager, talk about how safety huddles in a ward environment facilitate multidisciplinary staff working as a team to improve patient safety.

The twice-weekly ‘Porters Huddles’, attended also by clinical staff, are a completely unique concept and allow porters to come together with teams across the Trust and share ideas on how to improve patient care.

The porters’ unique access to every ward and clinical area in the Trust means they are in an ideal position to suggest changes and improvements that make a real difference to the comfort and safety of patients.

Working with the ward teams, there has been a huge reduction in the number of times porters have to go back to wards to collect medications, notes or patient’s belongings. In some areas, returns have been eradicated completely which is safer for patients, but also saves lots of porter time.

Porter Huddles have recently started at the LGI, and Paul has been working with other Trusts across Yorkshire to support them with their own huddles.

Paul said: “It’s really brilliant to be put forward for this national award. I’ve been a Porter at LTHT for 4 years and really enjoy my job as I have regular contact with staff and patients across the whole hospital.

We transfer patients across the hospital for different tests and treatment, or between wards, and it can be a really nerve-wracking time for them. We may only see patients for a short time but I always try to make them feel comfortable and safe, and have a bit of conversation or a joke.

I want every patient to feel that they’ve received the best possible care. That’s why I set up the porter huddles so that we can all work together to improve the service we provide and keep patients at the centre of everything we do. That’s what matters the most.”

The public vote for national winners of Operational Services Support Worker of the Year will be open until 6 November. Go to vote now.