An appeal for volunteers to support patients, their families and carers in Walsall’s Emergency Department has prompted an “encouraging” amount of interest and it is hoped a pool of helpers can be created.
The call for volunteers specifically for the Manor Hospital’s ED was made in September as part of Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust’s ongoing efforts to improve patient experience.
So far, around a dozen potential volunteers have come forward and the department hopes to attract more. The ED volunteers will focus on patients who are waiting for treatments or to move to other wards and will be a point of contact to ensure patients have all the information they need. They will also be able to locate relevant staff to answer any clinical questions that people may have.
Matron Denise Fraser said: “Our original appeal has seen an encouraging amount of interest from potential volunteers which we’re really pleased about.
“We’re repeating it as we’d like to create a pool of volunteers – particularly as we’re a busy, 24 hour department.
“We have said that the busy nature of the department and continually changing priorities means there are times when communication could be better. This is where we think volunteers could really make a difference.”
Debbie Hill, Care Group Support Manager, added: “We’d like to thank those potential volunteers who have come forward so far. They will be able to help us by sorting out food and drinks for patients, giving them books or magazines and acting as a link to ED staff and they will be an important addition to our team.
“But the appeal still stands as we do want as many volunteers as possible to come forward.”
Budding volunteers will need to undergo a DBS check and attend an induction session to include mandatory health and safety training. They need to be friendly, reliable, a good communicator and listener, respect confidentiality and privacy and appreciate the range of needs of people seeking information and support.
If you’d like an informal chat about the role please contact the Voluntary Service on 01922 656689.