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Meet Paul Curotto, Specialist Waste Trainer
In our line of work, we get to work with some amazing people, and Paul Curotto (pictured above) is one of them. We wanted to introduce you to him – the man who is cloaked (in a suitable superhero cape) as “The Receptacle Man”.
Eric, Gabby and I sat with Paul to chat a bit more about his role as a Specialist Waste Trainer at St James University Hospital, one of the hospitals that make up part of The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.
Paul started with this particular role in August 2014 after 18 years at the trust. Starting as a porter in 1997 he’s worked in various roles including being one of the brave helideck heros!
The first thing he focussed on when he came into his current role was the way that he was going to be able to first introduce the changes from their standard purple lidded receptacles (containers) over to the range of receptacles that are outlined in the HTM0701 document.
In fact, when Paul was first employed it was as a training and development officer and within a month it was clear that there was a need for a Specialist Waste Trainer. He says that it really says something when Infection Prevention & Control call and ask to speak to the Specialist Waste Trainer – it shows how far the University Hospital and indeed the field has come.
How does Paul like working with the Daniels team?
He finds the thorough way in which Daniels looks after its customers very helpful. For example the detailed audits and guidance they provide regularly. The results of the audits help provide him with insights to use within his training or the way he looks at teaching specific units. The audits also give impetus to go back to Clinical Service Unit (CSU) managers and bring to light what problems there are (if any). It also helps to re-iterate that it’s a recurring problem and that they need to look at how to change it.
Paul feels this really helps to give hospitals a benchmark – so things get better and better – and the progress is audited regularly.
How does Paul get hospital staff to be vigilant on sharps disposal?
Eric and I have been into the hospital and noticed how amazing the engagement is that Paul has managed to achieve about an issue that probably is not, in the scheme of things, a number one priority in their lives. But in speaking Hayley Gibson from Radiology at Chapel Allerton Hospital and Romy Smith the Senior Sister of Ward 26 at St James University Hospital and some people on the wards – they are truly engaged in something and this made a real difference.
Paul just smiles and says that he loves hearing that feedback from people. He says he thinks the difference comes down to getting out there and physically demonstrating the importance and doing it with energy and enthusiasm. This is how he has earned his reputation and now he’s recognised as “The Receptacle Man”. People respond to consistency and he takes the time to build the rapport as well.
Paul’s favourite mantra to repeat is: “We’re not here to force a change on you, we’re here to support you through your change.” And that’s what the difference has been.
What’s also great is that Paul is recognised synonymously with the Daniels team (Chris and Gabby) – the hospital staff see them as all working together.
A big thank you to Paul for taking the time to talk to us, it was wonderful to get another infection prevention professional’s stance on how they instil the necessary skills in the workplace.
Do you work in infection prevention and work alongside one of our Daniels’ team members? Please do get in touch if you’d like to share some insights on your role and how you work with us. You can comment below, email me or call us on 01865 371841.