Aycliffe-based property and maintainace experts deployed a team of ex-services staff to help a major NHS Trust get Covid-ready.
AAA Caring Caretaker – formed by RAF veteran Richard Tucker MBE – is an award-winning property maintenance and cleaning company covering all forms of site maintenance to cleaning.
The firm was approached earlier this year to support Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust to help deliver training to hotel services and infection control.
Caring Caretaker also supported the trust with deep cleans to prepare areas for use during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Working closely with head of hotel services Yvonne Watson and head of catering and performance Kingsley Verity, a plan was agreed to support hotel services, which included bespoke mandatory training completed via an online portal.
“We all worked together over the Easter holidays to make sure we were ready,” said Richard, who has fostered a company ethos to employ ex-service personnel as much as possible.
“Kingsley and his team worked closely with us to oversee the training, with the IT team epitomising the amazing collaborative spirit – a ‘let’s get this done’ attitude developing between everyone involved.
“The response was amazing, with 39 individuals stepping up to the challenge to complete the training modules over the Easter period.”
Richard, who is a North-East ex-services ambassador – a voluntary role which involves mentoring veterans who have started their own businesses – said the NHS job brought back memories of his services days.
“For many this was back to basics, doing what we had always trained for – overcoming obstacles to get a job done and the seamless team-work was almost like being back in operations,” he said.
AAA’s teams now work across many of the trust’s main sites, including Cross Lane in Scarborough, Cherry Tree in Meadowfields, Peppermill, Foss Park in York, West Park in Darlington, Lanchester Road in Durham and Roseberry Park in Middlesbrough.
Richard explains: “Additional training was required to enable four members of our team to work within the secure units at Roseberry Park and, as a result of this training, they are now able to work anywhere within the trust.
“For the commissioning of Foss Park, a second team consisting of some of our original employees and recent recruits was formed to help with the cleaning of all areas of assembly of furniture, in preparation for patient arrival.
“In addition, we also provided a removal service to transfer equipment between sites.”
Around 20 veterans were assigned to hotel services to support during Covid-19 and other veterans helped the NHS estates team and IPC with the delivery of PPE, emergency oxygen runs and the collection and delivery of antibody testing specimens which is ongoing.
Richard added: “One of our veterans is an ex-army combat medic, who has enrolled to start his ambulance technician training at college, and sees this work on the front line as a fantastic opportunity to learn more about NHS roles in civilian life.”
Earlier this year, AAA Caring Caretaker – who announced a new link up the Durhambased Finchale Group, formally known as Finchale College, earlier this year – also enjoys a long-standing partnership with LandMarc Solutions, one of the approved Defence Contractors and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, and is working with a growing number of firms in Aycliffe.
Find out more at aaapropertynortheast.com/caring-caretaker or call 01325 311116.