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Suzanne Gar­vey, di­rec­tor, hos­pi­tal oper­a­tions, Bea­con Hos­pi­tal

6.15am Home is just seven min­utes from the hos­pi­tal in Sandy­ford, so with no real com­mute to speak of, I’m at my desk by 7am, with a ‘dash­board of ac­tiv­ity’ ready to go by 7.30am. The dash­board maps out the day’s work­load and work­flow from a clin­i­cal per­spec­tive and is key to en­sur­ing that our elec­tive pro­gramme runs smoothly. When pa­tients are booked in for pro­ce­dures, we want to make sure they go ahead. .

8.30am I sit down with Fiona Kir­wan, di­rec­tor of nurs­ing to dis­cuss lo­gis­tics. It’s a busy hos­pi­tal so we do a lot of for­ward plan­ning around staffing and bed ca­pac­ity. Our emer­gency depart­ment is open 10am-7pm ev­ery day.

11am I over­see the clin­i­cal ac­tiv­ity in the hos­pi­tal in­clud­ing pa­tient safety, qual­ity and risk man­age­ment at Bea­con and ev­ery Wed­nes­day morn­ing we hold a pa­tient safety meet­ing at­tended by up to 40 staff mem­bers. Any safety is­sues that arose dur­ing the week are dis­cussed and we iden­tify where im­prove­ments can be made. We en­cour­age staff to self-re­port it’s not a puni­tive en­vi­ron­ment.


I try to get out for a half hour walk at lunchtime — I’m a huge be­liever in the restora­tive qual­i­ties of a good night’s sleep, healthy eat­ing and ex­er­cise. A bal­anced life­style makes for a more bal­anced ap­proach to life, in­clud­ing how we re­act to sit­u­a­tions at work.


Ad­min­is­tra­tion is part and par­cel of what I do, so I spend a por­tion of the af­ter­noon go­ing through re­ports, re­spond­ing to emails and for­ward plan­ning. I also have ground­work to do in prepa­ra­tion for our monthly board meet­ing. I re­port to the CEO and board of di­rec­tors on all clin­i­cal is­sues.


I set aside pa­per­work if I need to re­spond to a pa­tient safety is­sue. We en­cour­age our unit man­agers to see their pa­tient’s ev­ery­day and to deal with any com­plaints that arise at unit level. As a nurse for al­most 30 years, I re­main very pa­tient cen­tred.

“I over­see the clin­i­cal ac­tiv­ity in the hos­pi­tal“


I tidy up any out­stand­ing is­sues, and set out the agenda for the fol­low­ing day be­fore head­ing home to my fan­tas­tic hus­band and our two gor­geous dogs. Travel is one of the things I love most, so when I’ve time off, we head abroad, ei­ther to Spain, or, on al­ter­nate years, a more ex­otic des­ti­na­tion.

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