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Funds to improve patients’ experiences at Hexham hospital

Wednesday, 02 July, 2014
Funds to improve patients’ experiences at Hexham hospital

Money raised at the volunteer-run shop at Hexham General Hospital has gone towards helping to improve patients’ experiences.

Funds from sales at the Hospital Volunteer Service (HVS) shop and cafe have enabled equipment and items to improve the patient environment to be purchased.

Many of the initiatives will help make the wards even better for patients with dementia with enhanced signage and contrasting colours to aid visibility. It will also enable the hospital to be involved in the national Butterfly scheme to help identify patients with dementia more easily, complementing the work already taking place throughout the trust.

These items come as Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust celebrates the work of the volunteers at Hexham hospital by presenting long service awards.

The Trust’s HVS started in Hexham hospital in 2008, taking over the running of the shop from the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service (WRVS). Over the years, the service has expanded to include a snack trolley for the wards and a meet and greet service at the main entrance.

Ian McMinn, non-executive director at Northumbria Healthcare and chairman of the charitable funds committee, said: “We are delighted to use the money raised in our shop to improve patients’ experience of being cared for in Hexham hospital.

“These items that have been bought will truly benefit our patients and make a difference to some of our most vulnerable patients.

“However the shop is about much more than that – it’s there to provide a much-valued service to patients, visitors and staff.

“I would like to thank all of our volunteers who tirelessly and generously give their time to make this service happen and do a fantastic job.”

Long service awards were presented to volunteers who have five and ten years’ service.

Kay Pearson, from Hexham, received a ten-year award. Kay started volunteering with WRVS after she retired from nursing at the hospital.

Kay said: “When I finished working I was really keen to remain involved in the hospital in some way and volunteering was an excellent way of doing that.

“It’s great to be able to see people I worked alongside however also meet new people. The role is so much more than serving teas and coffees – we’re there to comfort people if they need it and to have a chat if they want.

“It’s excellent that the money raised from our efforts is going towards such fantastic projects to help patients.”

The shop, which was refurbished two years ago, is open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday, providing a service to patients, visitors and staff. Money raised in the shop goes towards improving the hospital environment, buying specialist equipment and providing training for staff.

The trolley visits all four wards at Hexham every day, giving patients the opportunity to buy snacks, newspapers and magazines. The meet and greet service operates from 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday and directs patients and visitors to wards and departments.

For more information about volunteering at Hexham hospital visit or contact 0191 203 1354. Full training is given for all volunteer positions and hours of work are flexible.

Volunteers carry out a range of roles across Northumbria Healthcare’s many hospital sites include facilitating patient activities, providing support at mealtimes, meeting and greeting patients and visitors at hospital entrances, and working in one of the HVS shops.