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Wirral University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

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For Volunteering

Becoming a Volunteer

Volunteers play an important role as they contribute to the care and wellbeing of our patients.

The support that volunteers provide enables us to enrich and extend the range of services that it offers to patients and visitors.

There is an increasing range of opportunities available to prospective volunteers and if you are seeking a worthwhile and rewarding role helping to support and develop services and enhance the quality of our patients’ stay in hospital, then volunteering may be for you.

We would like to encourage people from a variety of backgrounds, ages and levels of experience to join our volunteer community and will aim to find a role that best suits you and your individual needs.

There are a number of other organisations you may be interested in volunteering for. Please contact them directly through their website (see Related Links to left).

League of Friends, Arrowe Park Hospital can be contacted on 0151 604 7744.

 

What are we looking for in a volunteer?

Volunteering at Wirral University Teaching Hospitals can offer a great opportunity to give something back or broadening your experience to your local community. Hospitals are busy places that care for sick and critically ill patients and their families which can be challenging yet rewarding.

To be a volunteer you need to be able to commit to the role fully and ensure you are the right type of person to volunteer in a hospital environment.

Volunteers should be:

  • Friendly and approachable
  • Caring and good listeners
  • Comfortable approaching people to offer help
  • Able to work independently and use initiative after initial training
  • Emotionally mature and able to stay calm in difficult situations
  • Adaptable
  • Able to offer a regular weekly commitment for at least six months
  • Dependable

Volunteer responsibilities

Each role has a specific list of duties that the volunteer can undertake, however all volunteers should also:

  • Be polite, courteous and respectful to others
  • Know the hospital layout and be a source of information
  • Direct or escort patients or visitors to their appropriate destination
  • Wear the Trust volunteer ID badge and uniform
  • Adhere to the volunteer code of conduct
  • Promote a positive image of the hospital, staff and voluntary services
  • Uphold the values of the Trust

Before you can start in a voluntary role there is a registration process which involves a number of different steps. See section on how to reply.

Do you need any help to complete your application or with communication?

If you feel that you might need a little more support during the recruitment process to communicate with the team then please let us know in advance so that we can ensure processes are in place to make things as easy as possible. 

Volunteering vacancies

Our volunteers are a very important part of our organisation and we appreciate the valuable time they spend supporting the Trust.

Below are the roles that we have available:

 

Arrowe Park Hospital

Patient Relations Team - any day/time to suit

To support the Patient Relations team by talking to and listening to comments, concerns and issues raised by patients, their relatives and carers. To participate in collecting valuable feedback from patients, relatives and carers in order to improve the quality of Trust services.

 

Supporting patients at end of life

To work closely with the Multi Disciplinary team to give comfort and support to the patient, family or carer at their time of need by:

  • Listening to their needs
  • Giving guidance and support by signposting them to the appropriate professionals
  • Showing understanding and compassion appropriate to individual needs
  • Full training given.

 

Gardening

Stuart Milne Homes very kindly created two garden areas at Arrowe Park Hospital for staff and patients to enjoy.  These are located outside maternity and the Education Centre.  If you can spare an hour or two that would be great.

 

Patient Experience

To liaise with patients on wards in the promotion of using the patient experience as follows:

  • Handheld device Questionnaires – Currently focusing on Nutrition and Hydration due to the launch of the new menus.
  • Patient Experience Kiosks – We have 3 kiosks, at the Main Entrance, Emergency Department and Women’s and Children’s.
  • Children’s Engagement – We want to encourage the children using our services to utilise the exit cards by drawing pictures of their experiences. The aim would then be to create a ‘gallery’ of their work.

 

Mealtime Buddies

Meal Time Buddies will engage with patients during their lunch or dinner to encourage eating and drinking.

We’re looking for people to volunteer for two-hour sessions from 11:30 – 13:30 or 16:30 – 18:30 Monday to Sunday.  Full training given.

 

Ward Befrienders

Patients often do not have visitors and feel socially isolated during their stay. Research has found that social interaction to combat loneliness and isolation is really important for health and wellbeing. We would like volunteers to sit and chat to patients and if appropriate, to engage them in activities which stimulate conversation and may improve their overall experience.

 

Welcomers and Way Finders

To assist visitors to navigate their way around the hospital site and accompany them where appropriate. You will need to have a confident and approachable manner and a love of walking!

 

Fundraising

Assisting the Head of Fundraising in raising the profile of WUTH Charity, encouraging donations at a range of fundraising events and any other tasks to support the Charity.

WUTH Charity is in the first year of its new approach to fundraising.  The voluntary role in the first instance will be predominantly an information sharing role with other aspects developing as the charity becomes more established.

Patient Activities 

Clerical Support

How to apply

Please email wih-tr.volunteering@nhs.net to register your interest in volunteering with the Trust. We will ask you to complete a form which lets us know a bit about you, Why you want to become a volunteer as well as your previous experience and specific skills.

 

Interview

If we think that there may be a role available for you we will invite you for an interview in order to work out whether you will be suitable for the role. If you are offered the role then a number of pre-employment checks will be made including the collection of two references from the referees provided on your form, Occupational Health clearance and Disclosure and Barring Service checks. Once we have received satisfactory references and completed the necessary checks, we will contact you to arrange a date for you to attend our Trust Induction.

Training and Induction

We want our volunteers to fulfil their potential and make a difference to our patients and staff, which is why our training programme is so important. As part of your registration you will attend a full day induction which will introduce you to the Trust as well as providing some practical training which will be essential in undertaking your new role.  On your first day of activity at the Trust you will be provided with a local induction to the department you will be working in. You will also receive your uniform which consists of an orange polo shirt, black trousers/skirt and black fleece.

All volunteers receive mandatory training in the following areas: Data Security Awareness, Moving & Handling, Health Safety and welfare, Infection Control, Fire Safety, Protecting Vulnerable People, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and Conflict Resolution.  For positions that require specific training and support in specialised areas/departments we will provide training and support. Your training needs will also be identified as part of an annual volunteer appraisal.

Benefits

All Volunteers at Wirral University Teaching Hospital are entitled to the following benefits:

Confidential Counselling

Access to library services

Access to staff intranet

Chiropody service

Flu vaccine

Advice and support on giving up smoking

Lottery

Chaplaincy services

Healthcare staff benefits

NHS discounts

Reimbursement of travel

Refreshment and light lunch voucher (if supporting a placement for 4hrs+)

Applications accepted for internal posts

Access to Trust staff networks eg disability and long term health conditions; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME)

 

Recognition

Each year we hold our Awards where both staff and volunteers are recognised for the remarkable work that they carry out in order to provide the best possible healthcare services for the people of Wirral and beyond.

We very much appreciate the contribution volunteers make every day and to express our gratitude you will receive a Certificate after 10 years’ service and a pin badge and thank you letter from our Executive Director of Workforce for 10/15/20 and 25 years’ service.

Should we be lucky enough to have your support for 30 years you will receive a pin badge, Certificate and afternoon tea with the Trust Chairman.

You will also be invited to the annual ‘Thank You Lunch’ where the Trust Chairman, Chief Executive and Board members will be in attendance to meet you and personally say thank you for all that you do.

FAQ

Will I be able to volunteer immediately?

Unfortunately not, there are a number of pre-employment checks that we must do which can take several weeks to complete. You will not be able to volunteer until this process has been completed.

As part of the recruitment process, this Trust, in line with all NHS Trusts is required to seek Disclosure and Barring Services clearance (DBS) on all members of staff and those volunteering their services who, in the course of their normal duties, have access with children and/or vulnerable adults.

You will also be required to complete a work health assessment from the Occupational Health Department whose aim it is to promote and maintain the health of all people. Before health clearance is given for volunteering you may be contacted by the Occupational Health team and may need to be seen by an Occupational Health Advisor or physician. You may be asked to have a vaccination/s if required.

Will I be interviewed?

You will be invited to come in for an informal interview. This will give us a chance to get a better understanding of what kind of volunteering work you would like to do. We recruit into specific vacant volunteer roles, so this meeting will help us establish if there are any suitable roles for you at the moment.

If there are no suitable vacancies for me, what happens next?

If there are no suitable vacancies for you, we will keep you on our database and contact you in the future when a role comes up which is a good match for your skills/availability.

Will I get training for a Volunteer Role?

Yes. As a part of your registration you will attend a half day induction which will introduce you to the Trust providing some practical training which will be essential in undertaking your new role. On your first day of activity at the Trust your assigned supervisor will also provide a local induction to the department you will be working in.

Are there any age limitations for volunteers?

Volunteers must be aged 16 or over. To work in some acute areas, Volunteers need to be aged 18 or over. There is no upper age limit.

What kind of commitment is required?

We ask for a minimum commitment of 2 hours per week and pledge to volunteer for at least 6 months, however many of our volunteers are happy to stay with us for longer.  You are free to volunteer for as many hours as you would like per week, however this needs to be at regular, agreed times.

I would like to shadow staff whilst volunteering. Is this possible?

It is not possible to shadow staff but this may be possible to arrange this separately. I will not be asked to provide any clinical care to patients as a volunteer or if you shadow staff.

Will I get paid Expenses?

Yes, volunteers can claim back any out of pocket expenses they have encountered.

What should I do if I have any concerns during my volunteering about myself or any aspect of the service?

Please speak to your designated department manager, the volunteer co-ordinator on ext 8503 or a Freedom to Speak Up Guardian on ext .....

How Will I know what I'm doing? 

Your department Manager or the Volunteer Co-ordinator will undertake an annual appraisal with you where you will discuss whats going well, whats going less well and how you can address this. This is also an opportunity to discuss any additional training needs you may have or any support you may need.

 

Can I change my volunteering placement or role once allocated?

Once you have spent some time in an area of the Trust, you may want to move to another area or a different volunteer role. Please  discuss this with the Volunteer Co-ordinator who will look into this on your behalf and make the necessary arrangements as needed. 

What happens if I terminate my Volunteering role? 

Whilst we want you to volunteer as long as possible as a valued member of the team, we do recognise that you may want to terminate your role with the Trust. Please inform your department manager of your intention to leave and/or the volunteer co-ordinator as soon as possible. You will be invited to complete a short exit questionnaire so that we can understand if there is anything we need to do differently for future volunteers and would really welcome your input to this. 

Related links:

If you are interested in volunteering for any organisations below please contact them through their website