Ian Ghalligan

Technical Supervisor and Speak Up Guardian

From repairing flowmeters to servicing complex patient monitoring equipment – no job is too big or too small for City Hospital’s very own machine doctor.

Ian Galligan, 48, works as a technical supervisor within the medical engineering department and has been a familiar face at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust since 1985.

His expertise lies in looking after ventilation and anaesthesia equipment, but he also trains medical staff on how to use the devices. And when he’s not fixing machines, he’s trying to help fix problems that have been flagged up to him by his colleagues working across the organisation.

For Ian is also one of the Trust’s nine Speak Up Guardians – the people who staff can turn to if they want to raise any concerns they have. The Guardians have received specialised training and are well placed to listen to issues and guide concerned staff on the best way to resolve those problems. The aim is to provide better care for patients.

Ian will be promoting his role at the Trust today (September 27), when the organisation holds its first ever Speak Up Day – an event to encourage people to talk about issues they feel need addressing.

He said: “I volunteered to become a Speak Up Guardian because I want to encourage people to voice their concerns without fear. I feel I can interact with different people so I can help them to speak up. When people do this, it makes it better for staff and most importantly for our patients.”

The dad-of-two has been in the position for just under a year. He added: “More and more people are getting to know me. I am happy to meet with anyone who has any concerns and give them the support they need. I will also keep them updated on how the Trust is solving the problem or problems they have raised.

“My role as a Guardian is to give staff more confidence.  I can see that the culture within our Trust is changing and people are more open and confident to raise their voice when they see something that isn’t right. People start questioning something simple, such as washing your hands and it’s a very encouraging thing.”

Ian, who lives with his wife and children in Cradley Heath, enjoys the variety of his job and takes great pride in his work.

It’s no surprise to learn that Ian’s dedicated attitude towards the NHS has been passed down from his father. “He worked for the health service for 40 years as an estates manager,” Ian recalled. “He inspired me to work in the NHS and he always helped people and made them feel better. He’s my NHS Hero.”