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Staff spotlight: Mark Palmer, Facilities Manager

Friday 30th April

  • The Lantern
  • Stories

Our spotlight feature showcases the roles of the people behind the scenes at Farleigh who ensure the smooth running of the hospice. In this issue, we spoke to Mark Palmer our facilities manager!

Mark has been with Farleigh for 17 years and manages the domestic and maintenance teams as well as overseeing the health and safety of all Farleigh sites including the retail stores.

An associate member of the water management society, Mark is also a yellow belt practitioner of Lean Six Sigma and a member of the Farleigh Lean Group which focuses on efficient working practices, saving money and improving efficiency wherever possible.

He is also Farleigh’s environmental lead, heading up the Green Group, a working group focused on ensuring Farleigh operates in an environmentally friendly way.

What do you like most about your job?

Mark says: “Working at Farleigh brings me a huge amount of job satisfaction. Although I am not a patient-facing member of staff, what I do directly helps patients and supports our clinical staff and knowing that I have made a difference to them is incredibly rewarding.”

He goes on to say: “When I first started at Farleigh it was just myself and the gardener who maintained the building and the grounds. As the hospice grew, our structure changed and we had to hand over the care of the gardens to our volunteers. Our volunteers do a fantastic job of keeping our gardens looking lovely so they can be enjoyed by patients and their families. We regularly receive compliments about how great the garden looks, so I’d like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to all the volunteers who keep them looking their best.”

What is a typical day for you?

“No two days are the same for me. At the moment my job is even more varied than usual as I am managing a number of new things as a result of the pandemic such as working with IT to digitise our facilities management systems, for example, our health and safety risk assessments. I am also working with the retail managers to prepare for the reopening of the stores as well as undertaking maintenance work within our inpatient unit (IPU) ahead of its reopening. This includes working with the clinical teams to identify any new equipment that is required.”

How has your role changed as a result of the pandemic?

“I am responsible for making sure that all Farleigh Hospice sites are COVID-19 safety compliant. Our risk assessment process has changed to reflect the new risks that the pandemic has created. I am also now part of a team responsible for the fit testing of all FFP3 masks for our nurses. These masks have to be checked prior to use to ensure they provide full protection when going into patients’ homes.”

Interesting facts about Mark: He used to play rugby for Maldon and used to participate in Equestrian Cross Country.