Boost as volunteers return to the Emergency Department

Blackpool Teaching Hospital’s busy Accident and Emergency Department has received a timely boost with the return of a team of dedicated volunteers to assist with a variety of much-needed roles.

While all of the Trust’s volunteers were stood down at the height of the pandemic it is only in recent weeks that the tangerine army have returned to action and been able to make a real impact to services and patient care.

Linda Howarth and Kath Menzies are two of the volunteers to return to duty and they were delighted to be back making a difference to patients and colleagues.

“There’s a real buzz working in the Emergency Department,” said Linda. “We’ve missed the patients, we’ve missed the people, we’ve missed the fact that we actually did something for somebody else.

“We got hugs, and we got shouts from the doctors when we returned to the department, ‘Welcome back, we’ve missed you, we need you’”.

Kath has been equally well-received by BTH colleagues, she said: “The staff have been absolutely brilliant, they have put their arms around us and given us a cuddle and they were so glad to see us.”

The volunteers in the Emergency Department perform a wide-range of duties, including preparing food and refreshments for patients and staff, as well as providing support to patients and being a friendly face to speak to.

The support of the volunteers has already had a significant impact and has been more than appreciated in the Emergency Department.

Dr Anthony Kearns, Head of Emergency Medicine, said: “It’s truly fantastic to welcome back the volunteers and see them once again amongst us. Understandably the pandemic meant that they couldn’t be on site, but now they’re back and once again integral to collaborative patient care. Don’t underestimate the powerful role of that tangerine uniform!”

Vicky Smith, Senior Sister in the Emergency Department said: “There has been a noticeable boost since the return of the volunteers – they are a valuable service in this department,” said Vicky Smith, Senior Sister.

“The volunteers not only chat to patients but look after their nutrition and hydration which is an important aspect of patient care.”

The Trust is currently actively recruiting across a wide-range of volunteers roles, there are 29 different voluntary options available. If you are looking to get out of the house, or know someone who is keen to meet new friends and make a difference in the local community then we have a role for you.

For more information on how to apply click here

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