A home from home

A junior doctor at Barnet Hospital has described how new accommodation we have created has made her feel supported while working on the frontline in A&E.

Raoudha Ben Othman, a clinical research fellow working in A&E, said: “I come from Tunisia and have no family here so it was quite daunting to try to find somewhere in this situation.”

But then she was told about Graseby House, a former student accommodation block a short walk from Barnet Hospital which we have transformed into accommodation for 63 clinical staff and offices for 100 administration staff.

Each resident has their own room and bathroom and a shared kitchen and laundry facilities. “It was very important to me to have my own space and bathroom,” said Dr Ben Othman. “And the way everything is organised makes you feel like they are really taking care of you. Bills are included in the rent, a cleaner comes into the communal areas every day, the trash is emptied. These things take a huge load off you.”

Unable to organise a large-scale event because of the pandemic, the opening was marked last week by a visit from Jon Spiers, Richard Scarth, Debbie Sanders, chief executive of Barnet Hospital, Andrew Panniker, managing director, RFL Property Services, and Sue Hathaway, accommodation services officer at the trust, to mark the opening.

Jon said: “It’s a fantastic building providing critically needed starter accommodation for nurses and office space for support staff.

“I was lucky enough to talk to a newly-recruited nurse staying in Graseby House who shared with me that this accommodation was a crucial reason she was able to take a job at Barnet Hospital. This is a perfect example of how the trust and charity can work together to radically improve the staff experience for the benefit of our patients.”