Your chance to get involved at North Bristol NHS Trust

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

North Bristol NHS Trust is very fortunate to have a fantastic and dedicated network of local people who tirelessly give up their time week-after-week to provide invaluable support to staff and patients.

And we are always on the look-out to hear from people who would like to volunteer their time at Frenchay and Southmead hospitals.

Volunteering is a great way to support your local hospital. Currently at North Bristol we have around 500 volunteers who undertake a wide range of duties.

These include:

  • Befriending patients on the wards
  • Serving drinks in the outpatient departments
  • Helping patients and visitors find their way around the hospitals.

Suzanne Packe, Voluntary Services Manager, said: “There are many different opportunities within our hospitals. We can often tap into a person’s particular life skill or practical skills and tailor a post to suit.

“Volunteers are very valuable people who, by sharing some of their spare time, greatly enrich our patients’ stay in hospital.

“We can fit in hours around you, provide on-the-job training and even offer travel allowance and subsidised meals, where appropriate.”

Joanna Parker has been volunteering at Frenchay Hospital for two years after her retirement. She said: “When I retired I decided I needed to do something with a sense of purpose.

“This ward has a really warm, friendly atmosphere and the staff make me feel that what I do is valuable to them.

“To the patients I am a friendly face and I have time to spend with them.

“It’s the little things from patients that make me feel as though my work has been worthwhile, just talking to them, going to the shop for them or making a cup of tea - just a thank you means a lot.”

The Trust also has an active patient panel. This consists of patients, carers and relatives of patients who have used the Trust’s services and want to share their experiences and get involved in projects that matter for people using the services of the Trust.

Julie Francis, Chair of the patient panel, said: “I have been a member of the group since it began and I have enjoyed being part of something that helps to make a difference for patients and carers.”

Some of the typical duties of a patient panel member include:

  • Playing a key part in customer service training
  • Sitting on interviews to help us recruit the right staff
  • Talking to patients and taking part in clinical audits

Find out more about volunteering at our hospitals or joining the patient panel.