We are recruiting 100 volunteers over 50 years of age for a pilot extension to our award-winning Volunteering programme. They will support patients in our busy Accident and Emergency Departments (A&Es) at King’s College Hospital and the Princess Royal University Hospital (PRUH).
This pilot is funded by a charitable grant from innovation foundation Nesta and the Office for Civil Society, as part of the 'Give More Get More' fund.
Our Volunteering scheme is one of the largest in a UK hospital Trust, with over 700 Volunteers currently active in our hospitals.
King's treats over 200,000 people each year across both A&Es, many of whom have complex medical and social needs. Volunteers who have more life skills and experience perform especially well in an environment such as A&E, which is fast-paced and pressurised with patients who are particularly unwell or vulnerable.
We are asking Volunteers to commit to 15 hours a week for six months, compared to the usual three hours a week for other Volunteers, so they and our patients receive the maximum benefits.
Volunteers will support patients during their whole time in A&E. This could include giving information on waiting times, contacting patients’ family and friends, and accompanying them to x-rays and tests. They may also help escort patients home and follow up with them for up to four weeks afterwards, to help reduce unnecessary readmissions and attendances at A&E.
Volunteers will receive comprehensive training to help them in their role, including how to support the elderly, people with learning difficulties, mental health issues and dementia.
“Having more experienced Volunteers in our A&Es will further improve the care we’re able to provide,” explains Malcolm Tunnicliff, Clinical Director for Emergency Medicine at King’s College Hospital. “We always aim to see patients as quickly as possible, but sometimes there may be a wait. The extra Volunteers will give practical and emotional help, complementing the work of our busy clinical teams.”
Petula Storey, our Head of Volunteering, added: “Patients have told us that compassion, emotional support and friendliness are important when being treated in A&E. This new intensive Volunteering programme will support both patients and staff so that we can improve the experience of each person that comes through the doors of our A&Es.”
How to apply
If you are over 50 years of age and want to learn new skills, meet new people and make a valuable contribution to your local hospital, apply to volunteer at: