Secure Future for Volunteers as Project Ends

The Hospital to Home project officially ends 31st March 2013. However we have  good news for the project volunteers, Northumberland Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust are going to take responsibility for them and hope to eventually expand the number of volunteers so more wards can benefit (a fantastic medium term project impact) . The Mealtime and Wellbeing volunteers will be overseen by the NHS Patient Experience team and ongoing recruitment will be driven by the HVS (Hospital Volunteer Service).

We have already started sharing what we have developed and our learning with the NHS to facilitate a smooth handover. The NHS Shared Purpose researcher Win Tadd (renowned for her work Dignity in Practice: An exploration of Care of Older Adults in Acute NHS Trusts) has all 16 ward observation report we have produced and will hopefully be able to share some of her finding in May 2014.

See the Resources page for document, forms and training material designed for all three project programmes:

  • Hospital Mealtime Programme
  • Hospital Wellbeing and Information Programme
  • Hospital Observation and Real-time Feedback programme

Volunteers were offered the choice of staying with their local Age UK (North Tyneside or Northumberland) in a different role or transferring to the NHS and staying in their current hospital role(s). So far all but two of the volunteers are going to stay in their hospital role.

The NHS Shared Purpose project manager has been impressed by the Observation volunteers and the unique insight they bring to improving person centred care on the wards. Therefore it has been agreed the Observation Volunteers will remain under the control of Age UK North Tyneside (to maintain their independent status) and further wards observe at North Tyneside Hospital will follow.

Our final post will be after the volunteer ‘Thank You’ party at The Grand Hotel in Tynemouth on 19th March.

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