Tracey takes the helm as hospital’s new head porter
A leading north east hospital has appointed its first female head porter to oversee services in North Tyneside.
Tracey Smith, one of three female porters employed by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, will head up portering services at North Tyneside General Hospital, including more than 40 porters, delivery drivers and security staff – all of whom play a vital role in the smooth running of the hospital and delivering high quality patient care.
Every week thousands of patients in North Tyneside are accompanied by porters to and from various departments for tests and diagnostics procedures. Tracey will oversee this vital team which has such a hugely important part in the overall patient journey and experience of care.
In addition, she will manage a team of delivery drivers who transport patient notes and other supplies, as well as security staff in North Tyneside who help keep patients, visitors and staff safe within the hospital’s grounds.
Tracey has worked for Northumbria Healthcare for ten years and transferred from her role in Wansbeck General Hospital where she was previously responsible for overseeing the sterilisation of operating theatre equipment as sterile services team leader.
Tracey has spent the first couple of weeks of her new head porter role on the frontline in North Tyneside – performing porters’ duties to witness firsthand the integral part they play in providing care and putting patients at ease when they are often at their most vulnerable.
Tracey said: “I’m pleased to take on this role and honoured to be the Trust’s first female head porter.
“Whereas traditionally men have performed porter roles – and more than 90 per cent of our portering workforce is male – there’s no reason why women can’t do the job.
“My time on the frontline has really opened my eyes to the vital and varied role that porters perform and I will use this experience to support the staff and improve the service for the benefit of patients, visitors and staff.
“Portering services is just one of many multi-disciplinary teams that play a key role in underpinning all clinical services in our hospitals and are often one of the first members of staff with whom patients and visitors have contact.”
Portering services operate 24 hours a day across all of Northumbria Healthcare’s hospital sites in North Tyneside and Northumberland. To find out more about apprenticeship opportunities with the Trust visit: https://www.northumbria.nhs.uk/working-for-us/apprenticeships