As a specialist cancer hospital we are doing everything in our power to help keep our patients and staff protected from COVID, so that we can continue to run all our services for patients and keep everyone as safe as possible. This means complying with the latest guidance to reduce the transmission of the virus, such as wearing face coverings and observing social distancing and hand hygiene, and keeping the number of people in hospital as low as possible.
During the day, we have a rota in place so that patients are met by a member of security staff, a volunteer and a member of staff who has also volunteered. This team is there to welcome patients, provide clean clinical masks, take temperatures, give directions and ensure that nobody without prior permission from their clinical team can enter.
Ellie is one of our volunteers. She said: “I finished my degree this year and should be travelling right now but instead I’m volunteering to take patients’ temperatures and welcome patients for their appointments. I love getting to meet people and have a chat- otherwise I wouldn’t really see anyone all day. My mum works at The Royal Marsden and asked me to help and I’m glad she did.”
I love this job, it’s the best job I ever had. I get to chat to so many interesting patients and I see people when they come out of the hospital feeling so happy when they’ve had good news.
Gbenga is one of our security members of staff. His usual job is managing hospitality and retail staff at major events such as Cheltenham Races and VIP boxes in football stadiums. With events cancelled due to COVID, he has turned his hand to welcoming patients instead.
He said: “I love this job, it’s the best job I ever had. I get to chat to so many interesting patients and I see people when they come out of the hospital feeling so happy when they’ve had good news. There have been times when I’ve wanted to hug someone who has come out feeling sad but obviously I can’t do that so I talk to them and try to make them feel better. I try to recognise people as they approach me, which can be hard in masks, but it’s nice for them if they don’t need to repeat where they are going and why they are here. If someone isn’t sure where they need to go I will escort them inside. I know it’s hard at the moment as people can’t bring their family in with them but most people understand why this is and are happy to come back later.”
Lais works at The Royal Marsden's entrances welcoming patients, checking temperatures and giving out clean masks.
"I came to London from Brazil to improve my English. I was a personal trainer and recently I finished my postgraduate degree in Health Education and Primary Care and one day would love to help people going through cancer treatment to benefit from exercise. This is what I'm interested in."
Luis works security at The Royal Marsden and in his spare time paints abstract art.
"I would like to make a painting and donate it to the hospital. The hospital in Chelsea has some very beautiful art. I'm Portuguese and speak a bit of French, Spanish, and Italian which comes in handy sometimes when giving patients directions. This job needs us to be sensitive sometimes. My father died of cancer so I understand what patients and families are going through and just do what I can to help."
Mostafa is one of the security team members in Chelsea on rotation between the main entrance, Wallace Wing entrance and Stewart's Grove.
"I’m Egyptian so being able to speak Arabic to patients is really useful. There's a translator inside the hospital but it helps that I can explain to patients on the door that visiting is restricted at the moment because of coronavirus, and make sure they know where to go once they're inside."