NEBOSH firmly established at Marie Curie

Case Study: Marie Curie

One of the UK’s most well-know and respected charities, Marie Curie, has established the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety as a minimum requirement for all its Facilities Managers.

Marie Curie offers expert care, guidance and support to people and their families living with terminal illness. The charity operates nine hospices throughout the United Kingdom and last year its team of more than 2,000 nurses provided more than 1.2 million hours of care to 31,755 people, either within its hospices or in patient’s homes.

Given the nature of its work and the wide range of fundraising activities that take place to support Marie Curie’s existence, health and safety is fundamentally important. “Charities are no different to any other organisation when it comes to health and safety compliance and it’s something our Executive Committee takes very seriously,” said Marie Curie’s Health and Safety Manager, Claire Guise.

Claire explained there is a strong link between health and safety and the charity’s broader strategy of ‘people at our heart’. “If we look after our staff and our volunteers then that can only have a positive impact on how they then focus on the safety and welfare of patients and their families,” she said.

Claire, who herself holds four different NEBOSH Certificates and a NEBOSH National Diploma in Occupational Health and Safety, was asked to take part in an exercise at Marie Curie which aimed to define training needs across the organisation. Each of Marie Curie’s nine hospices has a Facilities Manager, a role which involves a strong element of health and safety. Knowing this and having first-hand experience of the qualification, Claire recommended that the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety should become a minimum requirement for the role.

“I’d seen one of our Facilities Managers who had taken the qualification previously feel a lot more confident about fulfilling her health and safety responsibilities after she’d passed. I was convinced that the qualification would deliver the same benefits to my other colleagues in this role,” Claire told us.

“One thing we’ve asked our Facilities Managers to do in the past has been to deliver basic health and safety awareness training. Now to be honest, you need to have a certain depth of understanding to confidently and accurately answer any questions that can come up in that kind of situation. We’ve seen that the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety has given our Facilities Managers that level of understanding. It has meant that they, for example, know the background to the COSHH Regulations, have an understanding of health and safety legislation, and are aware of the practicalities of risk assessments.

“I believe that offering more colleagues the opportunity to take NEBOSH qualifications has really enhanced the health and safety culture of our organisation,” Claire added. “Health and safety isn’t seen as a barrier to doing anything here, which is really important to us. We’ve had weddings at the hospice, weird and wonderful artworks and all kinds of activities. These installations and events have not only raised funds for Marie Curie, but have made the time our patients spend with us really special for them.

“It’s vital health and safety is seen as enabling these kinds of things, rather than getting in the way and integrating NEBOSH here at Marie Curie really helps us to get these thing right.”

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