As part of Volunteers Week celebrations, the Executive team at North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust have taken part in a ‘Back to the Floor’ exercise with volunteers.
The initiative came about because the executives wanted to thank the volunteers for the many hours they donate each year to support patients, visitors and staff within our hospitals.
Chief Executive, Stephen Graves shadowed Peterborough City Hospital Ophthalmology Department volunteer, Eric Hooper. Eric’s main role in the Eye Clinic is to reassure patients by entering into a conversation, pre and post the operation, accompanying them to theatre and holding their hand during cataract surgery. Research has supported this as valuable practice which can reduce patients’ anxiety and give them an increased feeling of having received excellent care.
Speaking about his experience, Stephen Graves said: “This initiative seems to be a great success. The Patients spoken to really value this service and volunteers like Eric enjoy spending time supporting the patients.
“It is imperative that we recognise and understand the value of our volunteers who play such a vital role in enhancing patient care and experience.
Chief Nurse, Jo Bennis, shadowed Dementia Champion Janet Bailey on Cherry Tree Ward at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. The role of a Dementia Champion includes craft time and singing with patients, social dining and providing support for the ward staff.
Jo said: "I really enjoyed the opportunity to spend some time on the ward visiting patients with Janet, one of our Dementia Champions. Janet is clearly a very caring and highly skilled individual who really suits the role she undertakes here.
“Janet and her Dementia Champion colleagues are truly valued by the ward staff, patients, relatives and beyond. The role they play in calming patients and utilising proven distraction techniques during times of distress is essential to supporting the nursing team in their delivery of excellent care. I will be staying in touch with Janet and I look forward to being a guest at a tea party on the ward soon.”
Among the other participants were Medical Director, Dr. Kanchan Rege and Deputy Chief Executive, Caroline Walker who took the time to understand the roles of volunteers within our hospitals and to thank them for their support to our staff and patients.