The Only National Awards For Non-Medical / Non-Clinical NHS Staff & Volunteers

Interview with Karl Roberts from the NHS Leadership Academy

3rd December 2018


The UHA were recently visited at our offices by Karl Roberts, Senior Programme Lead from the NHS Leadership Academy. We wanted to interview Karl to find out how he became involved in the NHS nearly three decades ago, the importance of Non-Medical/Non-Clinical staff in the NHS, and what the Unsung Hero Awards means to him and the NHS at large.

Laura Tomlinson, Relationship Manager at the UHA with Karl Roberts from the NHS Leadership Academy


How did you first become involved in the NHS?

Hello, my name is Karl Roberts and I’m a Senior Programme Lead at the NHS Leadership Academy.I first joined the NHS in 1992 in a Student Nurse role, then later I became a Nursing Assistant.

Can you tell us more about your current place of work – the NHS Leadership Academy?

The NHS Leadership Academy provides Leadership Development Programmes for NHS Leaders working across the NHS, both Clinical and Non-Clinical staff. We also work with Patients and Systems Leaders.

In your own words, can you explain how important Non-Medical/Non-Clinical roles are in the NHS?

Without Non-Medical/Non-Clinical staff working in our NHS we wouldn’t be able to keep the cogs turning and ensure that patients get the right care, treatment and support at the time that they need it. A lot of their roles support our patients, families and cares with direct support, but also back-office administration, to ensure that our Clinical staff have the right information at the right time.

Non-Medical/Non-Clinical staff , both behind the scenes and on the ‘front line’ as well, keep the NHS running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Without them, our patients wouldn’t get their meals, they wouldn’t get their medications, they wouldn’t get their hospital appointments. There are numerous things that patients wouldn’t receive if it wasn’t for Non-Medical/Non-Clinical staff.

How many Non-Medical/Non-Clinical staff members does a person have to pass by on their way to receive medical treatment?

If a person is being admitted from home, they would first encounter a member of support staff through the emergency services, like a Call Handler. From there they would be in contact with a front line Paramedic or an Emergency Medical Technician. On arrival to hospital they would see a Nurse or an Administrator, who would check them in. Throughout their journey the average person will come across many Non-Medical/Non-Clinical staff staff: Porters, Admin Staff, Hospital Volunteers, X-Ray Staff, Catering Staff, the list is endless…

What does the Unsung Hero Awards mean to the NHS?

The Unsung Hero Awards means a lot to NHS staff, without the Awards many of our NHS staff wouldn’t be acknowledged for their time and commitment when going the extra mile for patients and our NHS employees.

Do you have any Unsung Hero Stories which you could share?

Recently I visited a local Trust and overheard a conversation between a patient and a Porter, the Porter was providing plenty of reassurance, a listening ear and the care and compassion that he gave to that patient made her feel more at ease and reassured about her journey. It made me proud to witness this moment between a Non-Medical/Non-Clinical member of staff and a patient.

To find our more information on Karl Roberts and the work of the NHS National Leadership Academy, please see here.




Written by Laura Tomlinson | Relationship Manager Unsung Hero Awards

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