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Trust chooses a woman to oversee its portering

North Tyneside General Hospital has appointed its first female Head Porter to oversee services which include more than 40 porters, delivery drivers and security staff.

Tracey Smith is one of three female porters employed by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. In her new role she will oversee the team of porters who accompany the thousands of patients in North Tyneside on their journeys to and from various departments for tests and diagnostics procedures. In addition, she will manage a team of delivery drivers who transport patient notes and other supplies, as well as security staff in North Tyneside who help keep patients, visitors and staff safe within the hospital’s grounds.

Tracey spent the first couple of weeks of her new Head Porter role on the frontline in North Tyneside – performing porters’ duties to witness firsthand the integral part they play in providing care and putting patients at ease when they are often at their most vulnerable.

She said: “Whereas traditionally men have performed porter roles – and more than 90 per cent of our portering workforce is male – there’s no reason why women can’t do the job.
“My time on the frontline has really opened my eyes to the vital and varied role that porters perform and I will use this experience to support the staff and improve the service for the benefit of patients, visitors and staff.”