Publish date: 20 December 2022

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As part of our regular What Do You Do feature, we’re visiting Oldbury in the West Midlands where our new 111 team is currently taking national contingency calls as well as patients referred from the London and Yorkshire Ambulance Services.

Adam Jaye has worked in the West Midlands set up before, even before there was a 111 service, returning after working in the Welsh system. Here’s what he had to say…

“I started with NHS Direct, working through an agency at the time, as a Health Advisor before WMAS (West Midlands Ambulance Service) took on the 111 service twice. I took 111 and 999 calls before a series of takeovers led to me moving to the Welsh Ambulance Service for a new challenge where I’ve been able to work remotely.

“I was there for two years; they have a good system of call backs linking in with A&E departments and integrated urgent care hubs whereby clinicians call back the patient to help direct them to the right place. I’m very proud of the work that we do in the 111 service and even more proud to have been with the service from the very start to see how its changed and moved with the times.

“NHS Direct was District Nurse led and everybody worked around us. It’s steadily grown to become an essential part of the health service, the first port of call for patients with an illness, injury or health advice question that spiked when Covid hit and people were unsure about visiting a clinician face to face. We can now refer to a GP, A&E or Urgent Treatment Centre with an arrival time based on the best place for a patient to receive treatment, which I think is fantastic.

“With DHU about to take over the West Midlands 111 contract there are a number of opportunities coming up, so I decided to move back to the service I know and love within an office space. I started back here at the end of August just before the new Birchfield House building was open so that I could be trained on the new system and ready to start taking the national contingency calls from the end of October.

“I’ve been impressed with the support I’ve been given since starting. Pauline is the Managing Director and when I joined and I had a few questions so, she invited me into her office, asked me how I felt, answered all of my questions which was refreshing and made a point of listening to me. Some NHS and health organisations can be very hierarchical, so this approach made me feel as though I and my colleagues matter. I needed to be on similar shifts as my partner to help with travel and energy bills, within ten minutes my queries has been listened to and dealt with. It makes such a difference to work within a culture where you feel listened to and your personal circumstances matter.

“I also went to see the advice centre in Orbis to get a window into Oldbury’s future and it is an incredible building. Birchfield has two floors and the ground floor has been converted in the same style so we can see what DHU is trying to do, the culture it’s looking to instil and the environment it’s looking to create for us which is very encouraging.

“As for my role, I’m looking to return to training so would like to apply for a higher position. I’ve worked for 111 for more than 12 years now and have done the coaching role before so want to see where that takes me. I’ve met Mo and Kynaat, two DHU managers from Derby, and Connor who is a Trainer and they have been supportive so I can learn a lot from them and if I can make that step, I’ll be very happy.

“There’s lots of us who have just started here at Oldbury and I know there will be more joining, possibly some old friends and colleagues, when the West Midlands 111 contract is taken over by DHU in March. For me and my role, it’s about taking the time to explain the system to them, our way of working and talking them through how we work in the same way in which I was helped and supported. There’s a lot to look forward to and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Thanks to Adam for telling us about his role and keep your eyes peeled for DHU’s next #WhatDoYouDo.

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