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Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and DAC Beachcroft partner up to boost volunteer numbers for the NHS

Monday, 23 September, 2019
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and DAC Beachcroft partner up to boost volunteer numbers for the NHS

Northumbria Healthcare has teamed up with DAC Beachcroft (DACB) as part of the NHS’ national volunteer campaign.

As part of the Northumbria Healthcare’s ongoing volunteer programme – now over 1000 strong – and the national campaign, DACB will be providing volunteers to support patients in the trust’s brand new Ambulatory Care Unit (ACU) at The Northumbria hospital in Cramlington.

The ground-breaking partnership is the first time a corporate partner has signed up to support the NHS in this way.

The DACB volunteers will be there to assist the ACU, its staff and to patients. This will include talking to patients, making them feel at ease and supported; often with a cup of tea in hand.  A seemingly simple service, it can make an enormous difference both to the day patient experience and to long term outcomes.

“Our volunteer programme is one of the best established in the NHS and is something we passionately believe in. We are very proud that we now have over 1000 people of all ages and backgrounds working with us,” said Sir James Mackey chief executive at Northumbria Healthcare.

“Never before in the history of NHS volunteering, has a corporate partner signed up to support any trust quite like this. By stepping up to support their local health service DACB will be making a marked and significant difference to our staff, patients and the community at large.”

“It would be hard to overstate the value of the work they will do.”

Volunteers at Northumbria Healthcare work in a wide variety of roles: from helping guide people round hospitals, transporting those less able to walk, manning shops, supporting chaplains or working directly on the wards providing comfort and company to patients – to name a few! – often performing these roles in very difficult circumstances. They do not replicate or replace the work of paid staff.

David Weatherburn, Partner and Location Head at DAC Beachcroft’s Newcastle office, comments: “Having seen the Northumbria programme in action, it is a great asset that provides a friendly face to the NHS: hospitals can be intimidating places and, of course, the service-users and their families are often distressed.

“The firm has already established programmes like this in Bristol and London and I am delighted that we are going even further in the North East. There are such a lot of benefits; first and foremost giving a sense of community and belonging within our NHS.”

Mark Lever, CEO for HelpForce said:
“This is a pioneering initiative and one which we hope will encourage more organisations to join the movement to bring more volunteers to support our health and care. Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust is a HelpForce partner and they are truly committed to expanding volunteer roles and ensuring they bring great benefits to their hard-working staff, and patient experience.

“We congratulate DAC Beachcroft for their commitment to working in the community and inspiring their staff to become volunteers.”

Notes to editors:

Step up to Serve is a Department of Health sponsored programme to involve volunteers in the NHS to help absorb some of the operational pressures on the NHS.

Media contacts:

Northumbria Healthcare

Elliot Nichols

0191 203 1512 / 07966 490736

DAC Beachcroft:

Charlotte Boston