Matthew Grainger is an electrical craftsperson based in our Estates department at QE Facilities. He has currently been in the role for 6 months but has worked within the NHS setting for the past 5 years.
We asked Matthew to explain what his day-to-day role is like:
“A typical day for me consists of a 12-hour shift. I work on the engineering infrastructure within the hospital, basically my role is to maintain vital equipment and to work behind the scenes to keep the hospital running. Our tasks can range from something as simple as light fitting to a major power outage affecting the whole hospital running on our backup generators. We also install and test new installations as well as inspecting and testing existing wiring, circuits, and distribution boards in the Trust.
My shift team consists of six electrical engineers and six mechanical engineers who have a set workload of routine tasks as well as responding to emergency jobs. We must be flexible and respond to jobs as they arise, obviously prioritising jobs by level of importance and impact on the function of the hospital is a big part of the role. I am proud of the work me and my colleague's do and the service we provide to the hospital; our work is generally done behind the scenes but is crucial for the safety and functionality of the QE. I would have to say being part of the big picture is the best part of my role, we keep all the essential systems running within the hospital which in turn enables everyone else to do their jobs effectively, I look at that as a big achievement.
Our role can take us anywhere within the hospital grounds, meaning at times we will be working in close contact to patients; therefore, we must always take patient safety into consideration. During the pandemic, our procedures had to change as COVID presented another set of risks to both the patients and workers whilst carrying out maintenance tasks throughout the hospital. Our role is essential to keep things running smoothly so we had to learn to adapt and change or practices to meet COVID requirements.
Overall, I find the role really rewarding and I’d say to anyone who's considering a similar role to go for it. There are also lots of different routes into the role, we have a few apprentices in our team learning the role onsite whilst also gaining their qualifications at college. The engineering career path holds lots of opportunities that are adaptable to various working environments, so I’d say it’s a great career to pursue.”