Due to the excessive winter demands this year we've been piloting a scheme where volunteer office-based colleagues are supporting frontline nurses on the wards at mealtimes.
Matron Mandy Musgreave is training colleagues to be able to support patients at meal times and teaching the basics around food hygiene and infection prevention and control. Mandy says that the feedback from the ward staff has been "brilliant."
The extra hands mean that ward staff are freed up to focus on patients with more complex demands at meal times.
So far we have volunteers on wards 5, 6, 15, 19 (pictured) and 20. All are trained up in infection control processes and essentials for mealtimes so they are bare below the elbow, limited jewellery and hair tied back and wearing pinnies like the ward staff at mealtimes.
Comms caught up with Julie Wise (Finance corporate), Julie Wood (Finance surgical) Jackie McCormack, (Surgical Division) and Lesley Shaw (Procurement), for a photo with matron Mandy Musgreave. (They weren't on duty and between them they have more than nearly 100 years in the NHS in key non-clinical support roles.)
They all volunteered after Associate Director of Nursing (Surgical) Jo Middleton asked for volunteers to support the ward teams at this very challenging time and it has been so successful it has been extended until the end of this month.
Mandy, said: " The feedback from the ward staff has been really positive. In fact they want more volunteers!"
Lesley, said: " It was a bit daunting at first but all the staff are really helpful and supportive and we had the training. It's been fabulous and really rewarding. The patients are gorgeous."
Julie Wood, said: " The patients are lovely. I love talking to them. I can talk about any decade they want to talk about! And it means the ward staff can get on with other things."
Julie Wise, said: " It feels like we are actually experiencing how it is on the wards. Until you've seen it you don't realise how busy it is. "
Jackie, said: " We've all really enjoying it. Being able to help when it is so busy is great."
Volunteers can choose which mealtimes to support to fit in best with their main roles at the Trust and can take time back if they wish.
Jo Middleton, said: " We want to build on this and continue throughout the year. We know that this benefits our patients and supports our clinical teams but we’ve also seen how rewarding it is for our staff who aren’t in patient-facing roles.
"The ambition is to develop this in true working together to get results style. A huge thank you to the staff who have volunteered so far for giving up their time to make such a difference."
** If anyone else is keen to get involved contact Jo or Mandy. They'd love to hear from you!