GWH welcomes Royal Voluntary Service CEO

Posted: May 3, 2017

Visit highlights volunteers' vital role

RVS CEO Visit 170502David McCullough, the Chief Executive of the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), paid a visit to the Great Western Hospital on Tuesday 2 May to meet some of the volunteers who offer a helping hand to our patients, both in and out of hospital.

David's first call was to the RVS escort service, which accompanies patients to their outpatient appointments in the hospital, and he saw first-hand how volunteers, staff and transport services work together to get patients to and from clinics.

From there he chatted to RVS volunteers Jenny Wall and Barbara Hicks, who run the hospital trolley service, which carries supplies of snacks, drinks, newspapers and toiletries, providing an essential service for patients who are unable to leave the ward.

David also heard about the work of the RVS Home from Hospital service, which offers a helping hand to get patients back on their feet once they have left hospital.

Volunteers support patients as soon as they have been discharged, making a patient's home ready for their return, check they have a supply of basic groceries and make regular visits and phone calls over a number of weeks to check how they are getting on.

They can provide home visits for up to six weeks and also help the patient collect prescriptions, arrange any necessary telecare and help sort out unpaid bills.

David said: "Being a volunteer is all about a transaction that leads to a conversation. We're providing a service but we also have the time to chat.

"As well as appropriate medical and social care, support offered by volunteers can play a vital role, whether it's holding someone's hand, having a chat or making sure they've got some groceries in when they get home from hospital."

Emma Cavill, Senior Nurse for Discharge Planning at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Working with voluntary services is critical in helping us to look after our patients while they are with us and making sure they leave hospital in a safe, timely and well supported way.

"The RVS also provides a point of contact at GWH, working with the British Red Cross and other voluntary agencies, who can provide support for people discharged from hospital wherever they live."

Further information

For more information about support services available to our patients please see Leaving hospital - Support services.