The Trust is pleased to announce an increase in volunteer
support for older people in Darlington Memorial and University
North Durham Hospitals.
The Department of Health has given £38,000 in additional grant
funding for the Royal Voluntary Service and British Red Cross to
provide more volunteers across A&E departments.
The volunteers are fully trained and will work alongside
clinical teams to provide a professional service both in hospitals
and in the local community - intended to reduce delayed discharge
and ensure older people are being looked aftersupport older people
returning to their communities for continuing care.
Approximately 20 additional volunteers will be joining hospital
staff in the two hospitals, building upon services that the
charities already have in place. More than 200 older patients are
anticipated to benefit from these changes.
David McCullough, Chief Executive of the Royal Voluntary Service
said: "Royal Voluntary Service volunteers have been supporting the
NHS since it was founded in 1948 and we are pleased this additional
funding will enable us to work alongside clinical teams in Durham
and Darlington to improve the wellbeing of older people. With an
ageing population putting mounting pressure on hospitals and local
authorities, we believe this is where the voluntary sector can
"We know that the emotional and practical support our trained
volunteers provide can aid the recovery of older patients, reducing
delayed discharge and easing the pressure faced by busy A&E
Jane Coak, Sister in the Emergency Department at Darlington
Memorial Hospital said: "We are delighted to continue working in
partnership with the RVS and Red Cross to support our older
patients who come into A&E. These services provide support both
to staff and patients within the departments but also deliver
support to patients in their homes which helps reduce delays in
discharge and provides reassurance to both staff and patients about
continuing support once the patient is back in their
Health Minister Lord Howe said:
"The NHS has worked with expert charities including Age UK, British
Red Cross and the Royal Voluntary Service for decades to make sure
patients get specialist extra support when they most need it.
Around 700 volunteers will help mostly older patients once they
leave hospital as part of this £1.2m project, which is on top of
the record £700m that the Government has provided for 700 more
doctors, 4500 more nurses and 5000 more beds.
Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson said:
"I'm delighted that we are building on the success of existing
social action pilots to help improve the health of communities
across the England. The additional £1.2m funding that I am
announcing today will have the potential to help people to stay
well for longer, recover from illness and injury and improve
patient experiences. These 29 projects will further demonstrate how
the power of volunteers can make a real difference to public
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community