Mealtime Companions sought to help vulnerable patients at Bournemouth Hospital

HELPING HAND: Royal Bournemouth Hospital volunteer Terry Aldridge, 72

HELPING HAND: Royal Bournemouth Hospital volunteer Terry Aldridge, 72

First published in News by

AN APPEAL has been made for more volunteers to help vulnerable patients at mealtimes to ease pressure on nursing staff at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Terry Aldridge, 72, of Ringwood, who has worked as a volunteer at the hospital for more than two years, is one of the first Mealtime Companions.

He explains: “When I retired I wanted to do something useful with my time.

“I do various jobs around the hospital but I particularly enjoy helping out at mealtimes as I like the close contact with the patients.

“I have been a patient here several times over the years myself and the care I received has always been very good so it is very satisfying to be able to give something back.”

Terry works on ward 22 which has a maximum of 28 patients. Many are elderly with dementia.

“There is quite a bit of responsibility which is why you need to go on a training course first. You need to encourage patients to drink and you have to be careful not to put too much food in their mouths or else they will choke.

“Communication skills are also very important because some of the patients are deaf or have dementia.”

Ward sister Michelle Richards said: “I don’t know how we would cope without our volunteers.

“I would have them here day and night if I could, because they are absolutely vital to improving the patient experience.”

  • A total of 29 volunteers have completed the mealtime companion training sessions and cover 40 slots between them each week.

Sessions are held every other month from 9.15am to 1.30pm. Anyone interested should call 01202 704161 or email voluntary.services@rbch.nhs.uk<&eh>

An application form can be downloaded from rbch.nhs.uk

Comments (12)

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4:54pm Fri 18 Apr 14

60plus says...

Takes the pressure of nursing staff,like all hospitals nurses are in short supply, maybe some of the mangers could help out there are plenty of them,
Takes the pressure of nursing staff,like all hospitals nurses are in short supply, maybe some of the mangers could help out there are plenty of them, 60plus
  • Score: 14

6:05pm Fri 18 Apr 14

echor23 says...

This hospital needs volunteers because yes the strain is to much for the staff to cope with but also because if a patient can't feed themselves then they simply won't be fed! I experienced this with both my mother and father especially in ward 4 and the amount of times I have heard it from freinds and family also is astonishing.
My father was not fed for weeks by the staff and the dear gentleman next to him fed him.
Disgusting.
This hospital needs volunteers because yes the strain is to much for the staff to cope with but also because if a patient can't feed themselves then they simply won't be fed! I experienced this with both my mother and father especially in ward 4 and the amount of times I have heard it from freinds and family also is astonishing. My father was not fed for weeks by the staff and the dear gentleman next to him fed him. Disgusting. echor23
  • Score: 3

6:11pm Fri 18 Apr 14

ShuttleX says...

Does the hospital cover the cost of the CRB?
Does the hospital cover the cost of the CRB? ShuttleX
  • Score: 2

6:17pm Fri 18 Apr 14

ShuttleX says...

Ignore last, I have just been told Volunteers are free.
Ignore last, I have just been told Volunteers are free. ShuttleX
  • Score: -2

6:50pm Fri 18 Apr 14

BIGTONE says...

It's shows how broken the NHS is,when they have to rely so much on volunteers.
It's shows how broken the NHS is,when they have to rely so much on volunteers. BIGTONE
  • Score: 6

7:36pm Fri 18 Apr 14

misplacedspaniard says...

echor23 wrote:
This hospital needs volunteers because yes the strain is to much for the staff to cope with but also because if a patient can't feed themselves then they simply won't be fed! I experienced this with both my mother and father especially in ward 4 and the amount of times I have heard it from freinds and family also is astonishing.
My father was not fed for weeks by the staff and the dear gentleman next to him fed him.
Disgusting.
Yep they are so short staffed it's terrible. My grandfather was left without food and festering in his own urine and faeces. If we hadn't been up there everyday to take care of him it doesn't bear thinking about.
[quote][p][bold]echor23[/bold] wrote: This hospital needs volunteers because yes the strain is to much for the staff to cope with but also because if a patient can't feed themselves then they simply won't be fed! I experienced this with both my mother and father especially in ward 4 and the amount of times I have heard it from freinds and family also is astonishing. My father was not fed for weeks by the staff and the dear gentleman next to him fed him. Disgusting.[/p][/quote]Yep they are so short staffed it's terrible. My grandfather was left without food and festering in his own urine and faeces. If we hadn't been up there everyday to take care of him it doesn't bear thinking about. misplacedspaniard
  • Score: 1

9:24am Sat 19 Apr 14

Paul Weaver says...

ShuttleX wrote:
Does the hospital cover the cost of the CRB?
Yes they do.
[quote][p][bold]ShuttleX[/bold] wrote: Does the hospital cover the cost of the CRB?[/p][/quote]Yes they do. Paul Weaver
  • Score: -1

1:04pm Sat 19 Apr 14

glendower2909 says...

Accepting that there will be some with no relatives but how about people taking responsibility for their own family and feeding themselves.

Another symptom of the break down in family values and social responsibilities. Expecting others to care for our own.
Accepting that there will be some with no relatives but how about people taking responsibility for their own family and feeding themselves. Another symptom of the break down in family values and social responsibilities. Expecting others to care for our own. glendower2909
  • Score: 2

6:47pm Sat 19 Apr 14

guisselle says...

I know of one who has to rely on friends but its not always easy for families
to cope if the relative is difficult and demanding!
I know of one who has to rely on friends but its not always easy for families to cope if the relative is difficult and demanding! guisselle
  • Score: -2

7:19pm Sun 20 Apr 14

glendower2909 says...

When you were crying at 2am. When you went through the terrible two's. When you hit those difficult teens. When you needed that few extra pounds to buy the pram car or house you looked to me. Now in my twilight years when I need something in return nothing to serious help with feeding a listening ear or just someone to sit with me you just view me as a difficult and demanding
And lock me away for others to worry about. Out of sight out of mind. I was always there for you but where were you i needed you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When you were crying at 2am. When you went through the terrible two's. When you hit those difficult teens. When you needed that few extra pounds to buy the pram car or house you looked to me. Now in my twilight years when I need something in return nothing to serious help with feeding a listening ear or just someone to sit with me you just view me as a difficult and demanding And lock me away for others to worry about. Out of sight out of mind. I was always there for you but where were you i needed you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! glendower2909
  • Score: 3

9:08am Mon 21 Apr 14

guisselle says...

Exactly that's the way life seems to be today as long as they can get on with
their lives without bothering with elderly parents especially if that parent is
living alone. The middle class ones are often the worst as they lead
their jet set life! They forget the sacrifices parents made so they could go to
that University or posh school. Working class families stick together more
and if not Social services step in to help with meals on wheels also the
Day centres.
Exactly that's the way life seems to be today as long as they can get on with their lives without bothering with elderly parents especially if that parent is living alone. The middle class ones are often the worst as they lead their jet set life! They forget the sacrifices parents made so they could go to that University or posh school. Working class families stick together more and if not Social services step in to help with meals on wheels also the Day centres. guisselle
  • Score: 4

6:54pm Fri 25 Apr 14

skydriver says...

BIGTONE wrote:
It's shows how broken the NHS is,when they have to rely so much on volunteers.
Spotswood is ok though !
[quote][p][bold]BIGTONE[/bold] wrote: It's shows how broken the NHS is,when they have to rely so much on volunteers.[/p][/quote]Spotswood is ok though ! skydriver
  • Score: -1

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