A day in the life of...

The realities of today’s modern National Health Service provide some of the greatest challenges for the facilities professional. Such is the scale of operation of many NHS Trusts that a significant business contribution can be made through the effective delivery of robust estates and facilities management support services.
    
Paul Featherstone is Executive lead for estates and facilities services at the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust (UHSM), reporting directly to the Chief Executive. The son of a policeman, Featherstone has spent his entire career working within the NHS in both acute and primary care settings, the last six years being at Board level.

Improving patient experience
Responsible for the management of a revenue budget of around £30m, and acting as the principal link with UHSM’s PFI partners, Featherstone is acutely aware of the difference that good facilities provision can make to improving the patient experience.
    
“The basics must be right, as very often the state of the hospital is the first thing that people notice. It is important that everyone who has a responsibility for the delivery of facilities services recognises their own personal contribution in helping keep up standards.
    
“Being a Fellow of the BIFM is important as it keeps me up-to-date with facilities management best practice and innovation. The BIFM helps facilitate contact with a wide variety of facilities managers, from different industry sectors, thus providing a range of learning opportunities which can be applied to add value within my employing organisation”

Capital developments
Aside from day-to-day operational considerations Featherstone also acts as Project Director on two of the Trust’s major capital developments. One of these, the £14.25m Nightingale Centre and Genesis Prevention Centre, reconfigures, extends and substantially improves the existing Breast Care and Breast Cancer Prevention services offered by the Trust to the population of South Manchester and beyond. The other, a £20m Cardiac Services expansion provides improved Cardiac facilities at the Trust. “Both of these schemes have been very rewarding in the sense that not many organisations provide the opportunity to be fully involved at all stages of a project. It is very satisfying to be responsible for the production of a business case for a project, secure approval to proceed, and then know that the responsibility shifts towards actually constructing the vision.”

Many dimensions
Being a member of the Trust’s Executive Team brings an extra dimension to Featherstone’s role. These dimensions include contributing towards the Trust’s strategic, business and service planning, and performance management agendas.
    
With the Trust recently securing Foundation Trust status an increased emphasis on achieving excellence is being driven by the Chief Executive and Board of Directors. “Expectation levels are high. All Trust services, whether clinical or non-clinical, are actively embracing new business-like ways of thinking. This can only bring about improvements in quality and efficiency.”
    
Featherstone is supported by a team of 40 estates and facilities staff, from differing estates and facilities backgrounds. “I am fortunate that I have a strong team that is willing to deliver over and above the call of duty. I know that I can rely on them and, hopefully, they know that they will receive 100 per cent support from me.”
    
There is no such thing as a “typical working day” for Featherstone. Every day brings new opportunities, learning experiences, and challenges. However, despite the challenges, Featherstone believes it is important to strike a reasonable work-life balance: “My other passions are my family and my Kung Fu. My family keeps my feet on the ground whilst the Kung Fu acts as a superb pressure release valve.”

For more information
Website: www.bifm.org.uk/healthcare  

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