Could you help your local hospital?

Published on 19 November 2021

A hospital Trust has launched an ambitious scheme to recruit enough volunteers for every ward in its hospitals.

East Kent Hospitals Trust also wants people to sign up to greet patients and visitors at the entrances to each of its hospitals and help direct them to where they need to go.

And people are also needed to help out in the League of Friends shops.

Mandy Carliell, the Trust’s head of patient and public involvement, appealed to people to consider helping out at their local hospital.

She said: “Our fantastic staff are working extremely hard looking after patients, and they really need some extra help from their local communities.

“If we can have a volunteer helping to answer the phones on the ward, or making sure supplies of PPE are kept stocked up, or chatting to patients who are lonely or confused, it frees up clinical staff to go where they are most needed.

“We had to pause volunteer recruitment at the start of the coronavirus pandemic and they were hugely missed. Now, after reviewing safety protocols, we are able to welcome volunteers back who are making a real difference to our staff and our patients.”

Roles are available at the Trust’s three acute hospitals: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, William Harvey Hospital in Ashford and the Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

As well as ward helpers and meet and greet, there are opportunities for people to work as gardeners, and volunteers can give as much or as little time as they can spare.

Full training will be given for all the roles.

Mandy added: “Whether you’re recently retired, are looking for something to do while the children are at school, or hoping to add skills and experience to boost your CV, you’ll be made very welcome.

“You’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping the NHS during one of the most challenging periods in its history.”

All volunteers will have a personalised risk assessment to help keep them safe and will not be asked to work in any area where there are Covid-positive patients.

The roles are open to anyone who is over 18, and in the first instance people are asked to fill out an online application form. 

Questions can be emailed to Mandy at mandy.carliell@nhs.net