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Awards finalist, Gillian Grimes, demonstrates the value of learning & development

Gillian Grimes, Facilities Service Desk Coordinator at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust was shortlisted in the Individual Development Award at the 2018 HEFMA annual awards.


Gillian has worked within the NHS in Bradford for 25 years and is described as a highly valued member of the Food, Transport, Security and Waste Management Team (FTSW). She started in Finance and then Procurement before moving to her current role. 


Over an 18-month period she developed this role further, utilising specific learning and career development opportunities. Through distance learning and whilst working full time, Gillian successfully completed the ILM Level 5 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership, which was awarded by the City and Guilds of London Institute. Encouraged by the assessor she completed some of the Level 7 units at the same time and then, with the support of the Trust, went on to complete ILM 7 within less than five months. 


New responsibilities

Seizing the opportunity for a higher-level qualification demonstrated an understanding of the value of learning and development. Gillian has shown considerable appetite to progress and enable further personal development and improved career opportunities. 


She says: "I have thoroughly enjoyed undertaking the qualifications and pushing myself to complete the modules within, which would have previously been outside my comfort zone. I have greatly valued the opportunity to enhance my learning and development, which has clearly heightened my career prospects."


Achieving the higher level qualification was certainly a turning point in her career development. Following her attainment of level 7 it was agreed that she would take on additional management responsibilities and deliver specific objectives to improve service delivery. Her additional responsibilities include:

* Wheelchair maintenance – this contract provides a service in a partnership role with Bradford Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust, repairing in excess of 8,000 manual and powered chairs across Bradford. Responsibilities include leading the team and developing a new Service Specification.

* PTS providing management support to the PTS Coordinator.

* Authorising invoices for payment.

* Monitoring supplier payments against agreed budgets.

* First point of contact for joint working initiatives between Hard FM and its stakeholders.


Digital transformation

Gillian has also been instrumental in developing and delivering the functionality and development of the CAFM system. Most recently this included migration to external hosting which involved the development and delivery of a joint working plan with the Directorate and another NHS organisation to ensure seamless transition from internal to external hosting.


She used her extensive knowledge, developed over many years of CPD, to introduce new ways of electronic working into areas that were historically paper-based, achieving positive environmental benefits through electronic working, for example, with the use of smart technology by Estates Maintenance and Patient Transport Services (PTS) and the archiving of records. Future development includes the roll-out of smart technology to other departments within the FTSW.


Further development of the CAFM system has involved the introduction of Reach, which is a remote call-logging system using an additional module. Gillian has provided training to internal staff and stakeholders to facilitate self-logging reactive repair tasks using a web-based portal and for PTS stakeholders to request patient ambulance journeys to and from appointments. This has produced the following results:

* 45% reduction in FSD telephone and email use

* 100% reduction in PTS stakeholder remote logging of ambulance requests

* 35.5% efficiencies within FSD, further supporting the Trust's CIP

* 100% reduction in timesheet processing for internal staff using smart technology.


Gillian has also used her knowledge of the system to write new KPI dashboards that are tailored to the service provided by the business unit. This performance activity is then shared with patients, staff and the Trust board. The use of smart technology means the information is provided in real time.


Food Service Auditor

Food Services at the Trust hold the ISO 9001/2008 accreditation and as the nominated internal auditor, Gillian has been instrumental in the team's successful transition to the new ISO 9001/2015 model in August 2017. The verifier feedback stated: "Food Services have passed with flying colours' a Grade 1 pass (five grades, 1 being the highest). Only four other organisations have successfully completed the transition on the first attempt."


Proud to be a finalist

Commenting on the recognition brought through this award, Gillian told HEFMA: "Myself and my colleagues within the Facilities Services team were proud to be shortlisted for the prestigious HEFMA Individual Development award. To be a finalist was a great achievement and will be a great accolade for the Facilities Services Department and the Trust."