• 14Aug

    Funding announced for hospital volunteer programmes that support patients

    Nesta have announced details of 6 hospitals that will benefit from £600,000 as part of the Helping Hospitals programme to significantly increase their volunteer programmes and share the evidence of the impact this has on patients and their families.

    The hospitals are:

    • Barts Health NHS Trust

    Barts plans to double the number of volunteers. It will also recruit volunteers with experience of a specific illness or condition to support patients experiencing a similar health problem, as well as making sure there are more volunteers to help meet and greet new patients.

    • Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

    Cambridge aims to double its number of volunteers. Many of these new volunteers will be supporting older patients, helping reduce anxiety and confusion for those with cognitive impairment and improving patient nutrition. It is hoped this can help reduce the length of patient stays.

    • Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Trust

    Derbyshire plans to mobilise new volunteers, by replicating the best hospital volunteering schemes in a community trust setting. This will include a new ‘hospital to home’ scheme, where volunteers accompany vulnerable patients home to help them settle back into normal life.

    • Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

    Great Western Hospitals intends to increase the number of hospital volunteers by around 50 per cent across Wiltshire. New volunteers will get training and mentoring and some will be deployed in helping vulnerable patients settle back in at home after a stay at hospital.

    • Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

    Kingston plans to train up new volunteers especially to help patients with dementia, patients struggling to navigate the hospital and patients who need encouragement at meal times. It plans to almost double the number of active volunteers during the programme.

    • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

    Sheffield aims to increase the number of volunteers by a third. It will introduce a number of roles that it has been piloting to date, including mealtime volunteers and an ‘on-call’ role which will allow volunteers to be paged to respond to the most pressing needs on different wards.

    More information can be found here.