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Volunteering opportunities at new Northumbria hospital

Monday, 09 March, 2015
Volunteering opportunities at new Northumbria hospital

People with a few hours to spare who are interested in volunteering are being given the opportunity to help run a new shop and café opening this summer at the new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust is opening the new shop and café in the main entrance of the new hospital and is appealing for people to come forward to help and also provide a meet and greet service for visitors.

Volunteers for the shop would be required to carry out general shop and café tasks such as serving tea, coffee and snacks, operating the till, dealing with customers and replenishing stock. Volunteers for the meet and greet service would be required to provide assistance and directional support for visitors.

The proposed opening hours for the shop are 8.30am to 7.30pm, Monday to Friday and noon to 4pm, Saturday and Sunday. The meet and greet service is planned to operate on weekdays.

Hours for both roles will be to suit and full training will be given to all volunteers.

Both services are part of the trust’s Hospital Volunteer Service (HVS) and will operate in the same way as premises at Wansbeck, North Tyneside and Hexham general hospitals and the new shop at Blyth Community Hospital which opened at the end of last year.

Money raised in the shop will goes towards improving the hospital environment and health services for the community, and providing the little extras which make a real difference to patients’ experiences.

When it opens in June, the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care hospital will treat all seriously ill and injured patients from across Northumberland and North Tyneside, with emergency care consultants on site 24/7 and specialists also working seven days. This means patients will get to see the right specialist for their condition quickly which will not only save more lives but is widely proven to improve clinical outcomes.

Following emergency admission, patients will be treated and stabilised at Cramlington and then transferred to their local hospital for ongoing care and rehabilitation.

People with less serious conditions, but who still require urgent care, will continue to receive treatment at 24-hour walk-in services at the trust’s general hospitals in Hexham, North Tyneside and Wansbeck.  These walk-in patients are expected to be seen more quickly in the future as staff will not be distracted or called away to treat more serious cases.

Lynn McCormack, volunteer and charity development officer at the trust, said:

“We know how important it is for people to be able to stop off for a cuppa when they’re attending hospital with their loved ones or visiting them so we’re delighted to be opening a new shop and café at our new Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital.

“The new development will be the first purpose-built hospital of its kind in the country dedicated to providing emergency care and has generated a lot of interest across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

“We’ve already received many enquiries from people in the Cramlington area keen to volunteer with us however we would like more people to come forward and are keen to hear from anyone who has a few hours to spare, is interested in meeting people and being part of this pioneering new hospital.”

For more information and to register an interest, contact Claire Finn on 0191 203 1661 or email

Northumbria Healthcare has more than 800 volunteers across its sites as part of HVS who carry out a range of roles. These include meeting and greeting patients and visitors at hospital entrances, working in one of the HVS shops, assisting patients at mealtimes and facilitating ward activities.

The new Northumbria hospital is the result of ten years’ work led by clinical teams at Northumbria Healthcare and will have emergency care consultants physically on site 24/7, as well as specialists in a range of conditions also available seven days a week.  

It is part of an innovative new model of emergency care which will help save more lives and improve clinical outcomes for more patients across Northumberland and North Tyneside.

The new model is in line with the vision recently outlined in the ‘NHS five year forward view’ and has been endorsed by Sir Bruce Keogh, medical director of the NHS in England, who, as part of his Urgent and Emergency Care Review, is calling for ‘patients to receive the right treatment at the right place’, with consistent levels of senior staffing in order to maximise chances of survival and a good recovery for patients.