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

Interview with Sean Daisy, Business Support Manager, South East Coast Ambulance Service

17th December 2020


It’s been a difficult year for all of us, but those on the front line have faced their own unique set of challenges as they provide care and support in the wake of COVID-19.

Sean Daisy, a Business Support Manager for South East Coast Ambulance Service, has continued to assist 111 and 999 services while dealing with multiple changes across the organisation.

We chat to Sean about the challenges his team have faced in the pandemic, and how important it is to show recognition and thanks to those who make the NHS what it is today.

Hi Sean, could you explain more about your current role at South East Coast Ambulance Service?

Sure, my role is Business Support Manager for the 111 and 999 services. My main support function is with 111, but I also support 999 when it comes to supporting new changes to our services.

A number of the things I’ve been involved with lately is the new clinical assessment service we’ve brought in, with multi-disciplinary teams. I’ve been supporting teams within governance and procedure management, and those who have been supporting telephone and IT solutions. Part of my work is coordinate projects, and in the last 6 months I’ve been busier than ever!

As a Business Support Manager, what would you say is most important when it comes to leading a team?

There needs to not only be an understanding of the challenges being faced, but also a really positive approach to how we can make improvements. We know that COVID-19 is bringing massive demands, but there is also massive opportunity for us to make sure the profile of our service is seen positively.

It can get very easy to get bogged down in target-driven leadership, but it’s more about the soft skills and giving the means by which people can support each other.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

My favourite thing about my role (and I feel very privileged to be in this position!) is to be a real driver for change in my organisation and be able to champion some of the ideals I’ve held for a long time about effective care. Being able to do that at a stage where I’m interacting with our commissioner, stakeholders and executive teams…I feel really delighted to be given the opportunities to talk at that level.

Our interview with Sean Daisy

How have your team dealt with the pandemic this year?

The one thing we found about the 111 service is that where other services have been receiving decreases in attendance (hospitals, GP appointments etc.) it was quite the opposite with 111. The number of calls we were getting increased significantly in the first lockdown and we’ve now been experiencing that again.

What does the NHS mean to you?

I am a huge champion of the NHS. I am really fortunate as a few years ago, my father got quite ill, and he was having issues with chronic kidney disease. There was a real concern that he might have to go on dialysis. It turns out my mother was able to give one of her kidneys to my dad! The care that was received was amazing. He’s now doing great and my mum too thank goodness. This was all free at the point of use, and our family could not have afforded to get that kidney treatment privately. I feel incredibly privileged to be a part of an organisation that champions world-class care, free at the point of use. People’s lives could be completely different without it.

You were nominated for an Unsung Hero Award earlier this year. How important do you think it is to show recognition to those who go the extra mile in the NHS?

It’s fundamental that people get recognition and praise for excellent work. I think it can often be taken for granted that people come in every day, do their job, go home. What’s really key is constructive praise- people don’t just want “thanks very much for turning up”. They want “this is why I think that you are really important to us” or “the skills that you bring to the table are…”. That’s what’s important.

What I really love about the Unsung Hero Awards is that Non- Medical and Non-Clinical staff are those gears that make the NHS work. The NHS is this huge machine that cannot operate unless all of the parts are working effectively. I love that the UHA gives a platform to the people who make all of these processes work as effectively as possible.

You’ll be able to view the video of our interview with Sean over the coming weeks – you’ll find updates across our social channels!

Twitter: @UnsungHeroAward

Facebook: @UnsungHeroAwards

LinkedIn: @Unsung Hero Awards

Instagram: @unsungheroawards

YouTube: @Unsung Hero Awards

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