Duncan Roper, National Decontamination Lead

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes


How did you start your career in Sterile Services and how long ago was that?

I took a holiday job in a Sterile Services Department whilst I was a student, but then I dropped out of college and it became what I did!  That was 43 years ago.  For about 3 years I struggled to decide what to do and, if I’m honest, Sterile Services was not on my bucket list, but then an opportunity to become a supervisor at another hospital’s Department in the same city came along.  The culture there was so different, led by an amazing (if unconventional!) Manager, and that was when I decided to try and make a career out of Sterile Services.


How does your role affect the care we provide to the patients and families within our Hospitals?

In a most understated way!  We are completely behind the scenes and out of the limelight, but the work we do is vital in the context of infection prevention and successful outcomes of surgical procedures.  It’s well documented that infection rates in hospitals were disturbingly high before Sterile Service Departments began to be commissioned in the early 1960’s.  A surgeon at a major NHS Teaching Hospital where I used to work once said he thought I had the worst job in the hospital, to which I replied “You’re entitled to your opinion, but I reckon I get more job satisfaction than anyone else working in this place!” 


What do you enjoy most about your role?

I like sharing my knowledge and experience with others and making a difference where I can.  I like to come up with innovative and cost effective solutions, and my job gives me a degree of freedom to do that.  Looking back, the greatest satisfaction has been from seeing junior members of staff, whose development I’ve been involved with, progressing to bigger and better things, and ultimately being very successful.


Do you hope to progress in your career either within Sterile Services or in any other role in healthcare?

My career is at an advanced stage but I’m still up for one last major project, which I’m determined will be delivered for Ramsay Health Care.


Do you feel Ramsay supports its employees in accessing training and development opportunities to progress their careers?

Ramsay certainly does this from the evidence I have seen, but there is always scope to do more, and we will!  Trained and competent Sterile Services people are hard to find, so we need to ensure that we develop our current staff to become the Leaders and Managers of tomorrow, so that the high standards of our Service can be maintained.


What makes your unit a special place to work, and how would you describe the culture?

The people in our Units really care about patients, even though they rarely see any.  Our culture is based heavily on mutual support, so if anyone has a problem we encourage it to be shared and we work out a solution together.  The Clinical staff that we service are under great pressure, and never have enough time or resource to communicate and interact with us on a consistently reliable basis, so we often have to “go the extra mile” in order to supply them with the right equipment at the right place and at the right time.  But it’s a great feeling when we do - and we seldom fail!


Are there any particularly positive moments you’ve experienced or individuals you’ve worked with that stand out to you?

I’ve met many people in Ramsay Health Care who are totally committed to delivering excellence and it would be unfair to single out any individuals.  In my career, the amazing (if unconventional!) Manager I mentioned earlier was a source of inspiration which was truly life-changing – his name was Don Smith and I owe so much to him

Continued Learning

Development & Training

At Ramsay Health Care UK, we believe that it is important to place training and personal development right at the heart of the organisation, to provide opportunities for our people to learn, to develop and succeed in achieving their full potential. Our overall policy is to develop our employees to continually improve both their personal and business performance.

Find out more about career development

Why choose us?

We love people with a positive, “can do” attitude who want to make a difference in their work. "Our employees are Ramsay" The skills and commitment of our employees forms the basis for our success.

View testimonials