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Help support patients in King’s A&E

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation are looking for 100 volunteers over the age of 50 to support patients in their busy Accident and Emergency Departments at Denmark Hill and the Princess Royal University Hospital.

The volunteers,  must be able to help 1-2 days a week, will have an opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people, have fun while making a valuable contribution to the departments which treat over 200,000 people each year, including an increasing number of patients who have complex medical and social needs.

Petula Storey, Head of Volunteering at King’s, added: “Our patients tell us what is important to them is compassion, emotional support , friendless. This new intensive volunteering programme will support both patients and staff so that we can improve the quality of care and the experience for each person that comes through the doors of our A&Es .”

Volunteers will support patients during their whole time in A&E, and help patients like Mrs Smith, who is 84 and has fallen and is alone. You will help Mrs Smith by providing information on waiting times, helping with getting an understanding of what support she currently receives, contacting her family and friends. You may also accompany her for X-rays and other tests. Upon discharge, help escort her home and then follow up with her for up to four weeks, with the aim of reducing readmissions and further attendances at A&E.

No matter what your skills and experience, volunteers will receive comprehensive training on topics that include: supporting the elderly, those with learning difficulties, mental health and dementia so that they are able to do their role well.

“Having more experienced volunteers in our A&Es will further improve on the care we’re able to provide,” explains Malcolm Tunnicliff, Clinical Director for Emergency Medicine at Denmark Hill. “We always aim to see patients as quickly as possible, but sometimes they can wait longer. The additional volunteers will be able to provide more practical and emotional help, complementing the work of our busy clinical teams.”

This pilot is funded by the Give More Get More fund from innovation foundation Nesta and the Office for Civil Society to better understand what works best when developing volunteering services for volunteers who are aged 50 and over.

If you are interested in volunteering in our A&Es, please email petula.storey@nhs.net or call 020 3299 4223.

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