From playing cards to doing hair - new hospital scheme aims to prevent patient loneliness (From Bournemouth Echo)
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New scheme launched at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital to prevent patient loneliness
A NEW volunteer scheme is being introduced at the Royal Bournemouth Hosp-ital to prevent elderly patients from feeling lonely.
The Patient Companions’ scheme is due to be implemented in April on Ward 4, a female-only ward specialising in medicine for the elderly.
It’s primarily for patients who may not have family and friends visiting on a regular basis or those who need encouragement to eat or drink frequently. Other patients on the ward will also benefit outside of visiting hours.
Volunteer activities will include reading through ‘get well’ cards, assisting with hand and nail care, doing a patient’s hair or playing a game of cards.
Wilf Williams, Ward 4 Clinical Leader, said: “We looked at what was missing from the patient experience, particularly elderly patients, and that was human interaction from visitors.
“We also looked at what was happening during meal times. People don’t eat well if they’re sat on their own. Having somebody to chat to over lunch may brighten a patient up, provide encouragement to eat and drink more and, as a result, may get them home more quickly.”
While the focus of this volunteer scheme is more commonplace in residential homes, it is less common in hospitals. With the average stay for a patient on Ward 4 currently at 12-17 days, it is hoped the scheme will make a big difference to a patient’s experience.
Interviews for the new volunteer roles will take place over the next four to six weeks. The scheme will be monitored closely, with the patients asked to give their feedback.
If you would be interested in volunteering, please call Jacky Taylor on 01202 704161 or email email@example.com for more information.