Sophia Alipour, Media Officer

Sophia Alipour is a Media Officer working in our communications team.

What does your job normally involve?

There is no normal day for the St George’s communications team, and that’s probably the same for many of our staff and teams! Even before the Covid-19 outbreak started, no two days were the same – but that’s what I enjoy most about working here.

Many staff will know our team for producing eG – the Trust’s twice-weekly all-staff bulletins – but we also do so much more! As well as managing and responding to all media enquiries about the Trust, we work very closely with staff to generate positive news stories which showcase the amazing work happening at St George’s.

I’m also one of the people behind the Trust’s social media accounts, so please do give us a follow! We’ve seen so many wonderful acts of kindness, as well as messages of gratitude, and we’ll be continuing to share these on our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages.

How has it changed as a result of Covid-19?

Like so many of my colleagues, I’ve had to act fast and find new ways of working. As a team, we’ve quickly overhauled the way we communicate, introducing a new daily bulletin dedicated to Covid-19 updates, and in the coming days we’ll be issuing a weekly bulletin that brings together positive stories about how St George’s is responding to this challenge. We are also working hard to keep our partners and stakeholders updated about the St George’s response.

While we must still respond to media enquiries, our team is now completely focused on Covid-19, and supporting our staff. We’ve had to temporarily pause two television documentary projects, which we are responsible for managing at the hospital. However, the production teams we are working with have been really understanding – and we plan to pick both projects up again once we are all passed the current situation.

What are the big challenges for communications?

The Trust’s response to Covid-19 has been extremely fast-moving, with our plans changing and evolving almost every day. Communicating these changes, and making sure our 9,000+ staff members, patients and the public are kept informed, is a challenge – but one we’re ready and enthusiastic for. As communications professionals, our role also brings with it a big responsibility and privilege, which is why we are working hard to share the stories and experiences of staff, as well as patients.

A personal challenge is working remotely and relying on my phone or emails to communicate – we’re a very hands-on team and enjoy getting out across the hospital, talking to staff and hearing their stories!

What have you noticed about staff?

I’m in awe of how quickly and brilliantly staff have responded to the outbreak. Despite the pressure and nerves, I’ve seen our teams show each other so much kindness and care.

Our response is very clearly a real team effort, and it wouldn’t be possible without all the nurses, doctors, administration staff, porters, health care assistants and more pulling together.