Our COVID-19 incident lead and head of patient flow is retiring after more than 30 years in the NHS.
Graham Jaques, Associate Director of Operations, has worked for the NHS since 1988, after training as a student nurse in 1985 at the Scunthorpe School of Nursing.
Graham then went to work on Ward 16 at Scunthorpe hospital for a short time before moving onto the former Glanford Hospital in Brigg. After this, he transferred to Brumby Hospital and worked as a charge nurse until it closed.
He then returned to Scunthorpe hospital and worked on Ward 23 as a deputy manager, before becoming a ward manager on Ward 17. It was in 2003 that Graham got his first taste at patient flow when he took up the role of bed manager – and he’s been doing it ever since!
Graham said: “Getting this role happened by chance as the previous bed manager went off for six weeks and I ended up taking it on permanently. I set up the Operations Centre at Scunthorpe which is where we oversee bed management and patient journey movement. We then replicated this at Grimsby hospital.”
Not long after this, Graham took on the role of Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR).
It was this role that has seen him leading on our COVID-19 incident response since the pandemic first hit. Graham has coordinated our response, working alongside colleagues to deal with the changing guidance and rules, alongside his usual day-to-day work. Graham’s dedication and passion for his role has been instrumental in our approach to dealing with the pandemic in a healthcare setting.
Speaking about this experience, he said: “I have never worked so intensely in my whole life! I want to say thank you to everyone in the organisation as it has been one huge effort. I am so proud of what we’ve achieved. Our main aim has always been to keep patients safe and lead staff through what has been a very difficult time.
“We have implemented a lot of new ways of working during this time and everyone has come together to support each other. My principles have always been prioritising patient care and doing it with kindness.”
Graham has seen lots of changes in his time working in the NHS – including a move away from paper to digital.
“When I first started, there were no electronic records at all! I also think the hospitals have got busier due to the growing population,” he said.
Graham has lots of great memories of working at the Trust over the years but said it’s been the colleagues he’s worked with that has been the highlight.
Graham’s last day at work is 30 March. The 55-year-old from Scunthorpe, who has two daughters, said he’ll be enjoying his retirement by travelling and is planning a long trip to Europe next year with his wife – who is also retiring at the same time.
A small retirement gathering is being arranged for past and present colleagues. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.