New welcome service for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's launches at GWH

Posted: March 16, 2015

Making visiting hospital less stressful

OWLS logo 200A new welcome service, designed to make visiting hospital a less stressful experience for patients with dementia and Alzheimer's, is being launched at GWH.

The Outpatient Welcome Liaison Service (OWLS) involves volunteers meeting patients at the hospital door, escorting them to the clinic where their appointment is and sitting with them in the waiting room.

Carol Orrow, Voluntary Services Manager, said: "Coming to hospital can be a daunting experience for anybody but it can be even worse if you are suffering from a condition such as dementia or Alzheimer's.

"The volunteers we have at GWH know the hospital inside out and can be a friendly face in an often unfamiliar and scary environment.

Sometimes all it takes is to have a chat over a magazine to make someone feel more at ease in their new surroundings."

It is hoped that the new service will not only make patients feel more relaxed about visiting hospital, but also be of benefit to carers as the volunteers can offer support and guidance on issues such as clinic delays, navigation around the hospital and what to do if you're attending more than one appointment.

The volunteers can also be used when a carer is attending an appointment and they would like someone to sit with their friend or loved one while they are being seen.

How to access the service

To make use of the new service, carers must book the volunteer in advance by calling 01793 604046.

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