Call for volunteers to help hospital patients settle back in at home

PUBLISHED: 17:52 24 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:52 24 November 2018

Charlotte Kippin, Sally Dyson and Helena Scott from the Voluntary Services team. Photo: NNUH

Charlotte Kippin, Sally Dyson and Helena Scott from the Voluntary Services team. Photo: NNUH


The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) is looking to expand its volunteering network to help patients after they have had a stay in hospital.

The trust is keen to hear from volunteers who would be willing to assist patients following their discharge from hospital as part of its settle in service.

Settle in volunteers welcome patients home and ensure it is warm and safe and they feel happy with being back. They can also shop for some basic supplies making sure the patient has a hot drink and something to eat. The volunteer will also ring or visit the next day to ensure the patient has had a good first night home.

Charlotte Kippin, community and settle in volunteer co-ordinator at NNUH, said: “Welcoming a patient home and helping them to unpack, making them a cup of tea and checking their home is warm and safe could make a big difference to someone returning home after a stay in hospital, particularly during the winter months.

“This role is ideal for someone who wants to help our patients in their own community who may not be able to commit to volunteering on a set day in the hospital.

“We are looking to expand our already established team of settle in volunteers based in the community and introduce new volunteer roles supporting our patients through the whole discharge process from ward through our new Aylsham discharge suite to meeting them from the hospital transport at their homes.

“This process will be flexible depending on the patients’ needs and may involve more than one volunteer.

“Returning home can be a lonely and confusing time for some patients and this service will be key to helping to promote independence, prevent social isolation and promote wellbeing therefore helping to reduce the risk of re-admittance.”

NNUH volunteers will be able to help further integration back into community by referring to other support services such as Mind, Age UK, Citizens Advice Bureau and any other services that the patient may benefit from longer-term and help further to prevent re-admission to hospital.

There are more than 600 volunteers for NNUH and there are dozens of volunteering roles across the trust.

For more information, contact the voluntary services team on 01603 286060 or email

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