Natasha Marshall - Portrait

Natasha Marshall

Head of Facilities

Pete Watts - Portrait

Peter Watts

Head of IT

Judith Tidnam - Portrait

Judith Tidnam

Associate Director of People and Culture

Keeping Churchill House at the heart of the RCoA

2020 was a busy year for the Facilities team and we started it well with the refurbishment of the staff room on the seventh floor. As soon as the paint dried, we moved on to do the same on the fifth floor. Unfortunately, this project had only just started when we had to close the College due to the first lockdown.

Limited members of the Facilities team attended the building one or two days a week until June to ensure the building remained secure and all non-essential work was shut down. The team successfully adapted to the situation and once the weather improved and tier rules were relaxed, essential maintenance resumed.

In June, with an empty headquarters, the team took the opportunity to kick off a project to refurbish the third floor, incorporating meeting room three, the People and Culture office and reducing the size of the BPS office. This was finally completed in August, ensuring that it is fresh and fit for purpose when members and staff return. All of this was achieved as the team also continued to support staff working remotely by organising for items to be sent from the College and our four partner organisations.

The entire Facilities team is looking forward to the reopening of Churchill House so we can welcome staff, fellows and members back to a newly refurbished space.

Connecting the College

Since the issuing of the government's work from home message, the IT team have worked hard to ensure that College staff were given all the tools needed to continue to serve and deliver for fellows and members.  The team began 2020 with IT services designed to support staff primarily based in Churchill House. Although it did have some provision for remote working, the solution was designed to cope with a maximum of 20 people working from home at any one time.

The IT team took the decision to significantly increase remote working capacity which included new servers, Microsoft Teams, exam support, data and increased privacy controls. Systems were rapidly commissioned and from mid-March 70 users were able to access our remote systems, with a maximum capacity of 100 online users.

Migrating to Microsoft Teams meant that RCoA staff could access a stable and effective audio/visual and collaboration solution, allowing for meetings to seamlessly be conducted across directorates and with external partners.

During 2020, the IT team provided significant support to both the Events and Exams teams to help them successfully transfer from physical to virtual delivery models.

Following an accepted proposal to equip all staff with a College laptop, a project was initiated in the summer of 2020 which resulted in the mammoth task of all staff being provided with a secure College laptop before the Christmas break.

To protect homeworkers, a project to implement two-factor authentication was initiated and the new service went live on 18 July, significantly improving the Colleges IT and data security. Our team has ensured that we remain virtually available to staff as they work in this new way and in 2020 this resulted in over 2,100 IT calls being successfully resolved.

The IT team took the decision to significantly increase remote working capacity which included new servers, Microsoft Teams, exam support, data and increased privacy controls.

An agile and dedicated team

2020 represented a year of being bold and agile. Since the start of the pandemic our dedicated team of 119 employees have been working remotely, navigating a seamless continuation of our services and support to anaesthetists. Staff have adapted to the government restrictions around COVID-19, embracing new technology and ways of working.

Despite remote working, we were delighted with the results of our recent employee engagement survey where our team engagement score rose by over 12 per cent. This takes us above the benchmark for our sector despite the pressures of the pandemic, indicating that the College continues to improve as a place to work and listens, supports and invests in its people. 

Building on our wellbeing plans and staying connected has been a priority. This past year we delivered initiatives to support staff health and wellbeing, both emotionally and physically. 

To stay connected, we have improved internal communication across the College with initiatives, targeted focus groups and by listening to the views, future aspirations and hopes of our staff via our Employee Forum.

We are committed to ensuring that all job applicants and employees are treated fairly and with respect, valuing diversity and inclusion across all activities. Our recruitment process ensures equality of opportunity, opposing all forms of unlawful or unfair discrimination.