Can you introduce yourself and explain your role at Vernacare.
I’m Adam Dickinson, I work for Vernacare as a Field Service Engineer for the North West of England, and I work from as far away as Carlisle to Stoke-on-Trent. I started working here back in 2001, and I will have been with the business for 17 years in June 2018 this year. I repair, install, service and commission macerator disposal units. I also advise Estates Managers within UK hospitals on service contracts and if they’ve got an old machine that is uneconomical to repair, I can recommend upgrading it to improve efficiency. I’ll then let my colleague Jane Jones take over…
What is a typical day like for you?
I don’t really have a typical day. One day I could be on site all day, either installing or servicing machines and the next day, I could be conducting a first time fix or providing some basic technical training. An installation of a new machine can take up to 5 hours depending on the site, whereas a service can take a whole day. We respond to call out within 48 hours, so my work depends a lot on that. Some days, I start as early as 6.30 in the morning to beat traffic.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I like the variety of my job and meeting different people on a daily basis. I’ve also built great working relationships with staff across so many sites now that I see a lot of familiar faces which is always nice. I manage my own workload to make the most of my time, taking into account the distance I need to travel and the priority level of the work I have been assigned.
What are the challenges?
You definitely need a strong stomach for the work I do. I think the biggest difficulties I have on a day-to-day basis are around traffic and parking. A lot of the sites I need to visit don’t have space for contractors to park because of patient parking. So on occasion, we have to park a bit further afield, and then take shuttle buses with our tools which is fine until I realise I need a part that is in the van! Or sometimes, the van is too wide for a parking space!
What is the most important thing for you to be successful in your role?
I think having all the information I need to install or maintain a machine is the most important thing for me. As long as I have the ward and the serial number of the machine, along with my van having the parts I need, I can work my magic.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I played Rugby Union for Blackburn Rugby club for 20 years: I was number 6, one of the forwards. I’ve had quite a few injuries over the years: a hairline skull fracture, dislocated knee and a cauliflower ear to name just a few. I once played against someone who plays for Scotland now. I went to the 2015 World Cup final hoping that England might make it that far, but I ended up watching New Zealand v Australia. I’ve met loads of international rugby stars including Martin Bayfield who you probably recognise from BBC’s Crime Watch. I used to be the Vernacare machine installation model before I became old and lost my hair.
How do you feel about the future direction of travel for Vernacare?
It is obviously really great news that the business is growing and investing, particularly following the acquisition of Synergy HCS, we can become even bigger and better.