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‘Getting down and dirty’ – Matt Hancock does a night shift at Chelsea and Westminster hospital

PHOTO: Matt Hancock website

The health and social care secretary completed a night shift at the Chelsea and Westminster hospital in London in a bid to understand the work of nurses.

Matt Hancock spent his night observing and working in different departments to better understand the workings of the health and social care industry.

In a Facebook post, Mr Hancock wrote about three things that struck him most: “First, the dedication and camaraderie. We all know the NHS staff work incredibly hard and do amazing things every night of every year, but to see how they work together under pressure with such professionalism and maintaining levels of human empathy was breath-taking.

“Watching the whole team in action – especially when a blue light arrives or the emergency bleep sounds is like watching an orchestra in full flow.”

Mr Hancock commented on the lack of technology improved and how he now has new motivation to improve the IT of the NHS since spending the night at the hospital. He said: “It was through no fault of their own, but rather the lack of national interoperability standards means systems just can’t talk to each other, so people are forced to revert to pen and paper.”

The final point made about Mr Hancock’s experience was “the sheer communication skills of the teams.” Mr Hancock described the skills as mind-blowing and said handing over information was everything saying: “This, is anything, makes the importance of improving tech even greater.”

Mr Hancock became the Health and Social care secretary following the departure of Boris Johnson as the foreign secretary earlier this year.

Andy Stirges commented on the social media post: “I often don’t agree with your views Matt, but on this one I think you have done a great thing. For a cabinet minister to do this is a great idea and maybe more of your colleagues should be as committed as yourself. Maybe you and your fellow Tory MPs will also realise the importance of the NHS and invest more money into it. Credit where it’s due though, well done on your night shift.”

“It was a huge privilege joining the amazing people of the Chelsea and Westminster hospital and the London Ambulance service on the frontline last night. A massive thank you to everyone I met – their unstinting dedication, compassion and professionalism was an inspiration to behold. This was an experience that will last with me for some time,” wrote Mr Hancock.

 

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