HEALTH MATTERS: Volunteers required to support ‘lifeline’ service at hospital

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work they go as NHS volunteers. Above: Volunteers helping out at a church in Dumbarton. Picture by Bill Heaney

By Lucy Ashton

One of Glasgow’s largest hospitals has put out a call for volunteers to help keep patients and loved ones in touch after the reintroduction of visitor restrictions at some wards as a result of the pandemic.

Following national guidance and local risk assessments, essential visiting has been reintroduced at Glasgow Royal Infirmary’s older nightingale wards, which have open accommodation for patients. The layout of these wards means that separation of patients and their visitors is more challenging and social distancing and other mitigations against COVID are more difficult to observe.

To support patients in these wards, the hospital has reintroduced its Give and Go service – a vital lifeline that provides visitors with a place where they can leave fresh clothes or other essential personal items for their loved ones in the wards. The service, entirely manned by volunteers, was a huge success during previous waves of the pandemic, helping to ensure patients still got everything they needed.

With many other restrictions now lifted, the service has put out a call for more volunteers to join the team.

Louise Colquhoun, Volunteer Service Manager at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “While we are sorry to see some restrictions on hospital visiting being re-introduced at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, we’re delighted that our volunteers are ready, once again, to step up to provide a lifeline connection for patients and their loved ones.

“We are still looking to recruit more volunteers to join the team and we would welcome applications from outgoing, friendly people who want to help others during a difficult and unprecedented time. You only need to commit to three hours per week and you will be warmly welcomed on to our Give and Go family at GRI.”

The volunteers work Monday to Friday between noon and 5pm.

Those looking to help with the effort should visit: https://www.nhsggc.org.uk/working-with-us/volunteering/become-a-volunteer/give-and-go-volunteers/

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