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ICB officer finds inspiration in volunteering within care environment

09 November 2022

Last week, the Trust's communications team welcomed Phil Nicholls from the NHS North West London communications team.

Last week, the Trust's communications team welcomed Phil Nicholls from the NHS North West London communications team. Phil interviewed staff, wrote about Black History Month and shadowed our volunteers to gain valuable insight into the running of the clinical side of the NHS.

Phil said: “Last week I was on secondment at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust from NHS NW London, the Integrated Care Board (ICB). I enjoyed working with the Trust’s communications team. It was the first time I have ever worked within a hospital/care environment, coming from a private sector background previously. 

“Within the communications team, I was given the opportunity to write a story about how patients celebrated Black History Month with some staff in attendance. Patients had the opportunity to visit the on-site CW+ MediCinema and see films such as The Woman King, a production that demonstrates one example of how black women have made a substantial contribution to history. Being in a patient setting allowed me to interview a patient participant face-to-face, and I even got the chance to wear scrubs for the first time! As someone who has an educational background in History and Politics, I was proud to be part of a Trust that is dedicated to equality and diversity, as well as ensuring people from all walks of life are represented, including when reflecting on our historiography and storytelling.

“It was a privilege to shadow a volunteer for an afternoon visiting various wards, helping to deliver medicines and serving refreshments in the discharge lounge. A true inspiration, she works in a care home most days, but still finds time to volunteer for a full day each week with the NHS. I am now considering whether to do some voluntary work, having not done any community work since 2010 (when I volunteered in a special needs school in Morecambe, Lancashire).

“The communications team was welcoming, always open to explaining their work and how it makes a difference to frontline teams. The team is a valuable asset to the NHS and the Trust. 

“This week, I returned to my day job as Communications Officer at NHS NW London. However, I will never forget working at the hospital, and I will be putting the new knowledge I have gained into practice.”