Our ‘Day in the Life of’ series will focus on a new team member every month. They’ll discuss their duties, what it’s like to work here, how many teas they drink, and everything else in-between. We hope you enjoy learning more about the people behind the software – one delightful blog at a time! This time we sat down with Mollie Bradshaw, a Specialist Service Coordinator within our NHS Specialist Call Handling team. If you were to ask Mollie to describe her role, she might say something about “assisting NHS organisations by taking sensitive calls, sharing information with relevant team members, and facilitating the booking of patient transfers.” In reality, Mollie and our incredible Specialist Call Handling team play a significant role in the efficient and time-critical movement of sick neonates, children and adults within the East Midlands and beyond. More than enough to warrant Mollie’s own DITLO and accompanying opportunities to brag – enjoy!
What experiences led you to this role?
An animal lover at heart (donkeys in particular), Mollie led a previous life as a groom, riding horses from the age of 2 to 18. She won’t admit it, but there are clear signs that she’s always been incredibly kind and compassionate, like last year for example, when she easily convinced all 60+ of us to swap Secret Santa for foodbank collections instead.
Before Mollie came to work at 365 Response, she was a Specialist Service Coordinator for organisations such as the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT), with close to a decade of experience working for the NHS. Her role involved assisting the paediatric and ECMO teams with urgent patient transfers, working with the district nursing service, and completing e-referrals for GPs, hospitals, and end of life care. When that NHS contract wasn’t renewed, 365 Response brought Mollie and the rest of the team into 365 full-time, where they continue to provide this vital health service throughout the year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“Some of us have been working together for years across different NHS organisations, and that level of closeness is invaluable, especially when you’re regularly assisting with palliative or end of life care. The calls we receive are varied and they centre around incredibly difficult health situations. As hard as it is, we do still have our fun moments. Not the subject matter obviously, but the work is incredibly rewarding. You really feel like you’re making a difference, and the team atmosphere is so supportive, it’s lovely.”
Why 365 Response?
In 2019, NHS England Specialist Commissioning hired the 365 Response team to provide a vital service supporting the delivery of critical care to sick neonates, children, and adults in the East Midlands. The efficient and safe transport of these patients from their local hospital to the specialist centre that can best care for them depends upon effective real-time communication across multiple groups, specialists, and their transport teams – that’s where Mollie and her team come in. In fact, they’ve assisted with over 30,000 specialist transport calls this year alone! The work, although tough, is incredibly rewarding:
“The team are a great incentive to join. Jayne Reynolds is like the mother of the group, so she gets all the questions because she’s been doing this longer than any of us. Then there’s Aaliyah, who is extremely knowledgeable about…well, everything. She had to take over for me when an elderly gentleman called in to explain his nurses hadn’t been to see him. His emotions would shift suddenly – he’d tearfully share war stories and then suddenly burst into song. He was very confused and lonely. I have a soft spot for the elderly and their welfare, so I was finding it quite tough, hiding my tears by muting my headset. It’s not always like that, but sharing with each other is easy because everyone understands where you’re coming from.”
Shining a Spotlight on Specialist Call Handling
The Specialist Call Handling team take a hands-on approach to onboarding and training, buddying up with members new or old to share knowledge and information. It’s tough to mentally prepare employees for the nature of the calls they’ll be working on, but the team regularly encourage each other to take some time away from their desks, when necessary, to readjust and collect themselves.
The team assist with a variety of calls, sorting them into categories. Every call is treated with the same level of respect regardless of which team it filters into, the only difference being its urgency and whether it has a strict time constraint. Once they take down basic details and requirements, it will either go to the team that manage non-urgent care, like repatriation, for example, or the team that manages those journeys that are acute and therefore more urgent. This could involve an intubated baby on advanced ventilation, or an extremely premature or sick baby that needs to be moved before brain damage begins to set in. Discussing the team, Mollie shared:
“I remember one day I had to call and conference in the relatives for a patient I knew was dying of Covid. The patient’s girlfriend was begging for the truth, she didn’t want me to sugar-coat anything. It was the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic and the entire team had just started working from home so that one was quite tough, but there are just as many good days as there are bad. When a really sick baby suddenly pulls through and no longer needs urgent transport, for instance – those stories mean a lot.”
In October alone, Mollie and our Specialist Service Coordinators received almost 2000 calls – 1974 to be exact. We wondered about the ways in which Mollie spends her time outside her role, and how she leaves work troubles at the door:
“We work on a shift pattern, so depending on when I finish, the usual options like hoovering might be out the window – not so fun for the neighbours at midnight! I love quiet activities that I can do alone, so I do a lot of arts and crafts. It’s nice to enjoy a bit of peace when your day-to-day can be quite hectic. I also quite like to play JRPG’s and Dungeons and Dragons, too. Pre-Covid we still had a physical office space for the Leicester team, which meant team takeaways and plenty of opportunities to see a warm and friendly face.”
You can find out more about the team by keeping up with our regular ‘Day in the Life of’ series, like this one here on our 4-year veteran Clare Welford, Operations Team Leader for our Digital Transport Marketplace.
If you feel inspired by the work of Mollie and team, then you’ll be pleased to know we’re hiring! We have 3 positions available for Specialist Service Coordinators, all of which can be based remotely. This is a great team to join, full of individuals who know the importance of support and love being able to do something good every day. Interested? Great! Have a look at our Careers page and send your CV over to [email protected].