A Lancashire singer said a second job designed to prop up his income during Covid made him discover a love of healthcare, so-much-so that he now doesn’t want to leave.

The Covid-19 pandemic meant significant changes for most people and everyone has faced hardship in one way or another.

And as hospitality venues across the UK closed, this was no exception for 52-year-old singer-songwriter Stephen Bayliss, from Preston, who at the start of the pandemic, suddenly found himself unable to do the job he has lived, breathed and loved for nearly 35 years.

Finding himself in need of a new source of income, and wanting to make himself useful, whatever he chose would need to fulfil his outgoing personality and love of people, so when a friend suggested he apply to be a Patient Services Assistant (PSA) at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital, he jumped at the opportunity.

And after going through the recruitment process he began bank work within the Emergency Department at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust in September last year.

Stephen Bayliss. Pic: Michael Davies

Stephen Bayliss. Pic: Michael Davies

Stephen said: "Throughout the years, I have turned my hand to a range of roles - from tree surgeon and car valeter to car salesman.

"But now I feel I have found my true calling in the NHS.

"I really love my job and when people ask me what I do, I tell them I am a cleaner and a singer. 

"My colleagues come and ask me to sing to the patients when they are feeling down and to be able to do that and see their spirits lift is incredible.  

“I have been singing for over 30 years making a really good living. But here you see life from a totally different perspective.

"Just being with people, holding their hands and finding out about them is amazing. It is so nourishing to have that interaction with people.   

“I thoroughly enjoy coming to work and I truly believe I am destined to be doing this job. 

"I never realised how much seeing people in pain and how quickly their lives can change would move me.

"I am looking forward to continuing working for ELHT even when I am able to perform again at the end of the month by managing my shifts alongside my shows. I never want to leave."

To find out more about becoming a Patient Services Assistant at ELHT by going to www.elht.nhs.uk.