Maria De La Fosse – Ward Service Officer

COMPASSION and dedication are among the top qualities that our local NHS hero brings to work every day to ensure that the patient experience at the hospital stays positive all the time.

Ward service officer, Maria De La Fosse, aged 56, has only worked in the NHS for five years, but has been making long lasting impacts at Serenity Midwifery Led Unit, City Hospital. Her responsibilities include ensuring the facilities at the Unit meet the highest level of hygiene standards at all time and providing a relaxing environment for patients and visitors. Her hard work and kindness have been widely recognised by patients, visitors and staff, which resulted in her being shortlisted for the award Employee of the Year at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.

When asking how she sees her work, Maria shared: “When I see anyone who passes through the door to go into the Unit, I feel like I owe them a clean and relaxing environment. I want to make sure that when they leave, they will not carry any infection back home with them.”

Maria is highly aware of the role of her job and how it plays its part in the care that the hospital delivers to its patients. She also knows that every little thing can make such a difference. When seeing an emergency case, she will make sure that the door is wide open as she understands that even one second can save a life. When seeing people, she will never hesitate to give them hugs and kisses, regardless who they are or where they are from, because she knows that by showing them affection, she can lift their mood and make a difference to their day.

Maria added that she has a genuine passion to help people. She always tries to make sure that she will leave people in a better state than when she first found them. She could not hide the happiness in her eyes when she talks about her job. She said: “I love my role here. It feels like I go from home to home. I know what I am doing and how it makes a difference to people. If you have got a job like this, you must provide the best quality, especially in the hospital. It is imperative to be the best at everything you do.”

While working at the Serenity Unit, Maria has always secretly prayed for the mums and babies when they were in the theatre. With emotion in her voice, Maria said she knows that the hospital have the best staff but we can never rule out the odds. So whenever she sees how mums and babies are fighting for their lives, she prays for them, hoping that her prayers can give them strength to overcome the challenges. She also shows admiration to the work that doctors, nurses and midwives are doing. She said: “Each one of them puts a mark on my heart. The staff here have genuine care for their patients. They are the true heroes. They bring babies to life. They should be recognised for the hard work that they have been doing all this time.”

Maria also feels very grateful towards her colleagues, especially her manager and supervisors. She knows that without them, she would not be here to help others. She feels very proud to be part of the team and that her work is recognised.

In her free time, Maria often visits church and gives out help to others who are less fortunate than herself. She will help her friends who have health issues. It seems helping people is part of Maria’s habit and she will always do it whenever she can.

Maria is now living with her husband in Handsworth, leading a simple but fulfilling life.