A day in the life of... the hospital porter and cleaner

Updated Tuesday, 22nd April 2003
John and Peggy provide the crucial services which help the medical staff to function.

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Peggy Brame

John Hutchison and Peggy Brame have worked at the West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds for 24 years and 18 years respectively. More than 1 million people work for the NHS and only half of these are doctors and nurses.

In Picture of Health we see that John and Peggy are an integral part of making the hospital work well and their role goes beyond just portering and cleaning. We see them talking to patients, reassuring them and helping them. They point out that they have more time to talk to patients than many of the clinical staff. They talk about the dedicated staff in the NHS, but have some criticisms of the low pay experienced by some NHS workers and the Government’s ideas for modernising the service.

Q. What’s it like working for the NHS and what opportunities are there?

A. A good place to start is the NHS careers website:

There are lots of plans for improved education and training opportunities for all NHS employees, including skills for health.

Q. What is meant by ‘modernising the NHS’?

A .The blueprint for the changes that have been going on in the NHS can be found in the NHS Plan.

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