John Barnes – Technical instructor at Cardiac Rehab Department

IMG_0073John (66), from Bloxwich, has been in the NHS for nearly 35 years. He was first trained as a remedial gymnast from 1975 to 1978. He joined the Trust five years ago as a technical instructor at Cardiac Department.

His work now involves supporting patients to do exercise programmes specially designed for patients who have heart problems.

Thinking back to when he first joined the NHS, John said: “The NHS has been through many changes. However, the principle remains the same, which is to provide free health care and support to people who need it most. It is an excellent organisation and although you hear of occasions when it is not perfect, I believe the organisation has always shown its determination in making changes that benefits patients.”

John shares a memory from his training years: “I always remember my old manager, who guided me through my final year of training. He always encouraged his staff to take ownership so we can always help patients with whatever help they need. I think it is very good practice.”

Reflecting on his journey, John recounted: “I enjoy the job that I am doing now. I can see that my work does not only enable people to get better, it also builds up their confidence. A lot of patients who come here think they will not be able to achieve their goals; however, when I help people to practice and encourage them by saying: You can do it, you are doing very well. I can see their confidence has been boosted and they actually can do it. This job is more about empowering the patients and makes them feel better about themselves. It really does give me the job satisfaction to see a lot of patients choose to come back to gym service at City Hospital and Sandwell General Hospital to do our exercise programmes after years of treatment.”

John also shares a fun fact that he is actually younger than the NHS by three weeks. With the NHS turning 67, John said: “Happy birthday NHS! I would like to say thank you to the NHS as it has always been there for me and my family when we need it. I hope the organisation will keep going strong to provide the excellent care to our patients.”