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Vital role for volunteers

WE are calling on volunteers to build on the legacy of the internationally famous “Clydesiders” from last year’s Commonwealth Games to sign up for the new South Glasgow hospitals.

About 200 volunteers are being asked to register for the new acute adult and children’s hospitals.

Volunteers will be easily recognised by their distinctive red polo shirts, which display the NHSGGC logo, and are clearly marked “Volunteer”. They will wear NHS ID badges and undertake duties to welcome and guide patients and visitors, including providing guidance on the use of self-service check-in kiosks. They will also support patients in ward activities such as befriending.

The volunteers will signpost patients to waiting areas and to “calling screens” that will be located there and in cafés. The screens are used to call patients to their appointments and volunteers, on request, will guide patients who have been called to their destination.

This will complement the services provided by our paid employees.

Margaret Young, corporate lead for volunteering, emphasised: “Our volunteers are not substitutes for our professional, paid colleagues and we are very proud of the role they play. They are complementing the professional care patients receive. Many are service users themselves and have often said that volunteering can aid their own recovery.”

Claire Ferrier, senior charge nurse, cardiology, Inverclyde Royal Hospital, welcomes the presence of volunteers on her ward.

She said: “It’s been very beneficial to have volunteers coming into the ward and chatting to patients. It has a calming effect, which has made a huge difference and is a real benefit to both staff and patients. In fact, I am hoping to have volunteers on the ward five days a week – at the moment, they are here on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“We would choose to have them in between 11am and 2pm when they can not only sit and chat to patients, but also encourage them to eat and drink, which helps patients’ emotional wellbeing. I have recommended to fellow senior charge nurses that they set up volunteer services because I am convinced this would be a positive move in the ward and staff area.”

>> For more information: email: [email protected] or visit: www.nhsggc.org.uk/volunteering