Spotlight on... Jayne King and Eric Pirozzoli
Staff members Jayne King and Eric Pirozzoli are both co-chairs of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual) Forum for Guy’s and St Thomas’.
Jayne is taking part in St Thomas’ Abseil to fundraise for the hospital in May. Eric has previously completed the Three Peaks Challenge for Guy’s and St Thomas’, as well as London to Amsterdam for Evelina London. He is also a Charity Champion for fundraising in the hospital, so they’re an active pair!
We’ve interviewed them about their roles as part of LGBT History Month.
LGBT History Month
Eric and Jayne tell us a bit about LGBT History Month, which takes place in February every year, and what they have planned at the hospital.
Eric: LGBT Forum has been in existence since 2008. I joined via the Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) network and then over time moved into the co-chair position in the LGBT forum. If staff want to join, just ping us an email.
We have over 100 LGBT staff members, over 150 allies and still growing. We meet four times a year and as part of that we host various events and socials to keep the network growing. We support trust policy, Stonewall submission and raising our LGBT profile within the organisation. We also liaise with other external agencies and groups, linked in with a number of other NHS networks.
Jayne: Last year, staff at Tommie’s marched during London Pride. We had an amazing turn out with probably one of the biggest NHS trusts marching at Pride. We’re going to do that again this year, and that’s about bringing everyone together. Please join us!
Eric: Pride was a fantastic day and a celebration of the organisation, but we also used it as an opportunity to promote a couple of the clinical services such as our assisted conception unit, and the 24 hour sexual health clinic. Clinicians from those areas marched with us.
Image: Guy's and St Thomas' staff at Pride 2015
Jayne: On 26 January, Medicinema kindly showed The Danish Girl for us and we had a full house in the Prideaux building. We also used it as an opportunity to fundraise.
Here are the events they’ve got planned this month:
16 February – A bowling tournament against the LGBT forum in North West London that they intend to win!
23 February – A stall in Atrium 2 at Guy’s, where they will be raising awareness and giving out badges and a quiz that evening in the staff bar.
25 February – In Bird’s Corridor at St Thomas’, they will have live music, rainbow cake - and a rainbow zebra crossing...
Their roles at Guy's and St Thomas'
What is the name of your role?
Jayne: Head of Security, Portering and Reception Services.
Eric: Associate Director of Workforce.
Which part of Guy’s and St Thomas’ do you work in?
Eric: I manage a couple of teams within Workforce including the Business Partners and Workforce Intelligence teams.
Jayne: My role incorporates Security, Portering Services, Reception Services, the KIC (Knowledge Information Centre) and Reprographics.
What is a typical day like for you?
Jayne: It really varies, you can have a set calendar but you can have an incident overnight that could impact on the safety of our patients or staff that will need immediate attention in the morning. It’s about supporting our colleagues and making sure the work environment is safe for all our colleagues as well.
Then you have the day-to-day operations like meetings and hundreds of emails and then we try and squeeze in bits about LGBT – although predominantly we do that in our own time. I’m also Chair of the National Association for Healthcare Security, which is a group of security managers who get together to look at best practice. One of the things we’re looking at is putting together national standards for security officers who work in the NHS.
Eric: A typical day consists of attending various meetings linked to business planning, financial recovery and reducing temporary staffing, and trying to get emails below one hundred…
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Jayne: For me, it’s the diversity of the role and the people that we deal with. Security’s a specialised service that goes across all departments and all members of staff and patients, and all visitors. So it’s completely broad and doesn’t have a set working pattern, but is reactive and responsive.
Eric: Ditto, I think if my role was the same thing every day I’d get bored very quickly. I enjoy being involved in lots of different projects and being reactive to day-to-day issues, as well trying to think about longer-term strategic issues. Every week brings a new project or surprise that you need to react to, and the nature of my role spans across all directorates, so it’s working with lots of senior people to help improve the performance of the organisation.
What’s the biggest challenge?
Eric: Every day, I’m doing something that can be quite challenging and developmental for me. At the moment, it’s trying to juggle all the priorities, making your own things happen but also managing expectations from every department and directorate, so that’s a key challenge. And keeping on top of those dreaded emails!
Jayne: For me, at the moment it’s particularly around finance, but what’s non-negotiable is the standard of service to the patients, so we have to learn to do things smarter. That means completely changing people’s ways of working, so we look at how we can do things better without compromising standards, while being open to change and cascading that message to the teams.
What is your favourite thing about Guy’s and St Thomas’?
Jayne: There are some amazing staff that work here, and the people you get to have day-to-day interactions with. People are so committed to this organisation – oh, and the fact that we sit opposite one of the best views in London!
Eric: Again, same for me, I’ve been here for nine years and it’s the culture of the organisation. If it didn’t match my values and beliefs, I wouldn’t have stayed here as long as I have. It’s the staff and how they work - people are here for the benefit of each other and the patients, which really shows in the culture.
What is your proudest achievement in your career to date?
Jayne: Our inclusion in Stonewall, largely when we had the most improved organisation, and that’s something Eric and I have worked very hard on with our colleagues. That was fairly amazing for us, though we still have lots of work to do. It was a good year last year.
Eric: Last year, we had a big push on staff engagement and held a massive event with over 300 people visiting. We had cake and entertainment. It was very much about a celebration and the atmosphere on the day was brilliant. We worked with unions, management and staff, and the whole year was a very good year, but LGBT month which coincided with the Stonewall outcome was amazing.
What do you like to do outside of work in your free time?
Jayne: Because it’s February, it’s LGBT month and we meet every Tuesday to put together the events for the year. So that takes work; Eric’s the master of the timetable and spreadsheet, and I’m just the ideas person… We’ve got lots of things going on, and I have a three-and-a-half-year-old son, so spare time and having a child doesn’t mix.
Eric: In my spare time I generally go out, go to the theatre, cinema, running…
Name one thing that people may not know about you.
Jayne: I’m going to do the St Thomas’ Abseil. Unfortunately it’s Friday 13th!
Eric: I haven’t got any secrets…
If you could only take one thing to a desert island, what would it be?
Jayne: My family.
Eric: My partner. Or a boat!
If you want to support Guy's and St Thomas' like Jayne and Eric then you can find out more on our fundraising pages.