Leeds Teaching Hospitals People

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Neil Higgins

Shift Engineers

Behind the scenes of our hospitals is a small army of workers who literally help to keep the lights on. Looking after such huge sites requires the hard work and dedication of our expert mechanics and engineers in our Estates team. Skilled craftspeople, maintenance engineers and other ancillary staff work around the clock to ensure we can provide care every hour of every day.

"No two days are the same in my job, with lots of variety in the sorts of work I am doing day-to-day. Over my 12 hour shifts, I can never predict what I will have to deal with," said Neil. "The days can be long, but the range of work and issues which can arise always keeps me on my feet."

"I'm really lucky to work with a great mixture of decent people who all want to do their best for the NHS. There's a real spirit of camaraderie within the team and we all support each other in our roles," he explained. "I have an enormous sense of job satisfaction, knowing that I am helping to keep Jimmy's running 24/7/365. All of this goes towards ensuring patients are well looked after here in Leeds."

"During the day-time I attend to a number of jobs across the site, helping to keep wards, theatres and other clinical areas up and running. I can also monitor and change the environments of different parts of the hospital from the control room here in the boiler house through the Building Management System," he said. "There are sometimes problems that need our intimidate attention, such as people getting stuck in lifts and flooding. That's why there are always two of us needed on site at any given time."

"It's great to be able to help in getting a ward running again, and it makes a real difference to be thanked by the staff for the work that we do," Neil explained. "We are also responsible for the boilers here at St James's, keeping them maintained and ensuring they are working effectively. The boilers provide heat and hot water for the site and this helps to save the Trust money in the long run."