Hundreds of volunteers who have played an integral role within the health service

Multi-site Guard of Honour to thank NHSGGC volunteers

By Democrat reporter

uard of Honour events have taken place across the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board area to thank the hundreds of volunteers who played an integral role within the health service during the height of the pandemic. 

Staff and patients at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, and the Royal Alexandra Hospital – but not the Vale of Leven – lined up in traditional fashion to celebrate the hard work and dedication of volunteers who have worked across the service in a variety of roles.

Recognised by their bright red T-shirts, volunteers have helped ensure NHSGGC has been able to continue delivering person-centred care to patients throughout the pandemic. Answering a national call for support, some of the key duties undertaken included: Staffing the Give and Go drop off points, which enabled friends and relatives to drop of essential personal items to patients during visiting restrictions.

To date the team has delivered more than 12,000 parcels across sites, clocking up 3,000 hours of volunteer time. Welcoming staff, patients and visitors and signposting appropriately while ensuring everyone entering a hospital site used hand sanitiser. Distributing PPE to staff, patients and visitors throughout the pandemic. Distributing the many donations which flooded in from the public and from businesses. Setting up and running a tuck shop for patients.

Establishing and editing a brand new newspaper for GRI patients called The Hospital Times and distributing a range of newspapers across wards. Supporting Project Wingman in providing staff with R&R facilities at different acute sites. At the GRI, volunteers tracked their steps and combined, walked the distance from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

While many staff are now returning to their previous roles outside the health service, a number have remained in post as the health board continues scaling up and restarting services.

Harry Balch, Volunteer Manager for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “Every single volunteer has made a huge contribution to our efforts in combatting the virus and we’re extremely thankful to all of them for their hard work. They have made an immeasurable difference and from day one, became an integral part of our service in response to the pandemic.

“As the volunteer services begin to wind down in line with a reduction in COVID-19 cases, we will look to retain some of the team in certain roles to help us provide information and guidance to patients engaging with the health service which has undergone such change over a short period of time.

“Once again I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who has played such an important role in ensuring we have been able to continue delivering high-quality and person centred care during this period.”

You can watch the video of the Guards of Honour here.

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