Royal Stories: Melanie Ray
Melanie is a modern housekeeper at the new Royal Derby Hospital - and has a rollerskating past!
Melanie Ray is a modern-day 'housekeeper' - but don't think of her as a cleaner or dealing with dirty laundry.
She is, perhaps, the equivalent of a personal shopper in a department store or a hotel concierge... she can organise almost anything and nothing is too much bother.
In short, she and her team are there to look after you. Now a co-ordinator, Melanie used to work on a ward herself: "It was ward 410 - the old ward 7 - the breast care ward.
"I would meet and greet the patients, show them to their beds, orientate them on the ward - show them the nearest bathroom, toilet and hairdryers, explain about visiting times, meal services.
"Nothing is beneath a modern housekeeper at all - nothing is too much trouble for us. We go from helping you with your slippers or unpacking or packing your suitcase.
"We go through the whole transition with you - from coming in to talking things through - and other things like helping with cutting up food [and other things having an operation can sometimes prevent you from doing] - passing a comb or mascara brush."
It's a role she says is enormously satisfying when she sees patients, who go into hospital nervous and worried, leave with a smile.
Derby's New Hospital
And the job clearly suits her familys' way of thinking - her daughter has also been accepted as a modern housekeeper on ward 410.
She says the new hospital is a great place to work - and she says, most of her colleagues are jealous, not of her office - but of the fact it has a window!
Melanie's talents don't end with looking after patients or looking after her family at home - her roots have wheels!
These days, Melanie is more likely to be found attached to a karaoke machine - with Celine Dion, Mariah Carey and Michael Bolton being top of her list of songsters.
last updated: 03/07/2009 at 16:53