Hospital boss gets his hands dirty while another sweats in the kitchen under job swap project

Hospital chief executive Stephen Conroy cleaning the floors.
Hospital chief executive Stephen Conroy cleaning the floors.

A hospital boss spent the morning getting his hands dirty helping the cleaning team as part of a job swap project.

Bedford Hospital chief executive Stephen Conroy cleaned toilets and mopped the floors within the accident and emergency department and other wards.

He said: “I was put to work cleaning toilets, cubicles, beds and bays and under close supervision and, apparently, I did well but need to speed up my technique.

“It is no mean feat keeping every area of our hospital clean and providing a safe environment for our patients, visitors and staff.

“The domestic team have many skills and I was particularly impressed by their flexibility and speed in working effectively in busy patient areas and how essential a part of the ward/area team they are.”

The In Your Shoes programme currently running at the hospital until November will see each executive director spend half a day per month working in a different hospital department.

As part of the scheme chief operating officer Eileen Doyle got a taste of life in the kitchens.

She helped to cook a Bombay potato dish and backed butterfly cakes for patients on the Riverbank ward.

The kitchens prepare around 1,500 meals per day for patients, staff and visitors.

Eileen said: ““Everyone was incredibly busy and I found it really interesting to be part of what is a seamless operation in our kitchens.

“I would like to thank our catering manager Peter Gillard and his team, especially Lisa and Ian, for being so tolerant.”