23 October 2014
UH Bristol partners with RVS to support older patients
Older people's charity Royal Voluntary Service has partnered
with University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust (UH Bristol)
to launch a new suite of services to help older patients get better
and return home sooner after a stay in hospital.
The charity is now looking for people in Bristol to give just a
couple of hours a week to support these services. Volunteers
- work alongside hospital staff and existing hospital volunteers
to help an older person work towards leaving hospital
- or take part in a 'Home from Hospital' service to support older
people after a stay in hospital,
- or participate in a 'Good Neighbours' service to help older
patients readjust to life at home.
The services, which will be offered at Bristol Royal Infirmary
and South Bristol Community Hospital, are being funded using
profits from the facilities currently run by Royal Voluntary
Service volunteers at hospitals across Bristol.
Recent research conducted by Royal Voluntary Service found that
older people supported by the charity's Home from Hospital service
after a stay in hospital were 50 per cent less likely to be
readmitted, compared to the national average - but more volunteers
are needed to help more older people in the community.
Further research conducted by the charity also found that people
who volunteer are happier, have an increased sense of wellbeing,
and enjoy a better quality of life.
Laura Goringe, Royal Voluntary Service Locality Manager for
Bristol, said: "These are really vital services which allow older
people in Bristol to stay happy, healthy and independent. We know
support such as that provided by our volunteers makes a massive
difference to those who receive it. Our volunteers are fantastic
and they really enjoy what they do; they get as much out of
volunteering as they put in.
"We are calling on people in Bristol to be part of something
amazing. Get in touch to find out more about volunteering so that
we can help as many older people in the community as possible."
Dr Rachel Bradley, consultant in care of the elderly at UH
Bristol, said: "I think this is a really exciting opportunity for
volunteers to work together with health and social care
professionals to help patients achieve their individual goals, get
better sooner and support them at home. Volunteers can really help
improve patients wellbeing and confidence at a time when many feel
vulnerable and anxious."
Those who sign up can choose to dedicate as much or as little time
to volunteering as they like. To find out more visit www.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk
or contact Laura Goringe on 07736 825307.
Royal Voluntary Service supports over 100,000 older people each
month to stay independent in their own homes for longer with tailor
made solutions. Through its army of 35,000 volunteers, the charity
runs services such as Good Neighbours (companionship),
Meals-on-Wheels and Books-on-Wheels that alleviate loneliness and
help older people. Royal Voluntary Service also provides practical
support for older people who have been in hospital through its
On Ward Befriending and Home from Hospital services.
UH Bristol continues to recruit volunteers to a range of
roles including volunteers to befriend patients on wards and to
support them at mealtimes; and volunteers to meet and greet
patients and visitors to the hospital sites. The Trust's
mealtime volunteering programme has been recognised as an example
of good practice in the innovative care of older people in an acute
hospital setting. If you are interested in finding out more
about volunteering with the Trust then please see this link for more
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