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Could you help ease the pressure as a hospital support volunteer?

An elderly patient in a hospital accompanied by a volunteer

Volunteers are wanted to help support patients in five Powys hospitals at Bronllys, Welshpool, Llandrindod Wells, Machynlleth and Llanidloes.

They are being recruited by Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations (PAVO) on behalf of Powys Teaching Health Board (PTHB) to act as befrienders, motivators and general assistants who can help improve a patient’s stay or visit.

The hospital support volunteers will not be asked to act as advocates or counsellors and nor will they be asked to carry out clinical procedures, provide personal care or administer medication. But the hope is that they will be able to help ease the workload currently faced by staff and if successful could be deployed in all the county’s hospitals.

If you are interested in helping to fill one of these roles, and can offer compassion, co-operation and good communication skills, you can find out more on the Volunteering Wales website or call the Powys Volunteer Centre on: 01597 822191.

Activities with patients could include:

  • Providing a reading/writing service where appropriate.
  • Engaging in general conversation with patients.
  • Encouraging and supporting patients with activities such as reading, looking at photographs, watching videos or listening to audio.
  • Assisting patients with daily tasks e.g., making meal choices, remembering physio exercises or planning the day’s activities
  • Helping patients to remain mentally and physically active.

As part of the recruitment process a volunteer will:

  • Have an informal chat with Powys Volunteer Centre about why they are suitable for this role
  • Have to pass a COVID-19 workplace risk assessment
  • Undergo an enhanced DBS check
  • Complete a set of basic mandatory training courses

Claire Madsen, Director of Therapies and Health Science at PTHB, said: “The volunteers will not be taking over the roles of doctors, nurses or health care assistants, but could help ease some of the pressures our staff are currently facing and make a spell in hospital much more pleasurable for our patients.

“They could also aid their recovery by helping to keep our patients active, stimulated and happy.”

Claire Sterry, PAVO’s Senior Officer for Third Sector Development added: “If you are kind and compassionate, confident and encouraging, have good communications skills, can work as part of a team and understand the need for discretion and confidentiality, we would love to hear from you.

“We are also keen to recruit volunteers who have completed ‘Dementia Friends’ training or SENSE training on sensory impairment.”

PAVO and PTHB are working together on this project as part of the Powys Regional Partnership Board, which is made up of a range of public bodies and other representatives, including Powys County Council, who are working together to improve the health and wellbeing of the county’s residents.