New role and service will help wellbeing for older inpatients at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Marianne Moggridge, OPM Volunteer Coordinator. Photo: NNUH

Marianne Moggridge, OPM Volunteer Coordinator. Photo: NNUH - Credit: NNUH

Older inpatients at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital will soon have more activities to take part in, and someone to talk to.

Dr Martyn Patel Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Dr Martyn Patel Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2014

A new volunteers' support service for inpatients in Older People's Medicine (OPM) has been set up by Marianne Moggridge, OPM volunteer coordinator, which is a new role at the hospital.

And from the New Year, Mrs Moggridge will be organising her team of volunteers to provide assistance for older short-term and long-term inpatients.

The team will provide older people with someone to talk to and will give patients a choice of activities to increase wellbeing, relieve anxiety and therefore promote a faster recovery.

This initiative will be an enhancement of the already established volunteer services in place at the hospital, including dementia support and the settling-in service.

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Staff, families or carers will be able to request volunteer support for a patient, or the patient can also request a volunteer themselves.

Mrs Moggridge will be working on eight wards and will act as a bridge between volunteers and clinical staff.

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'This is a fantastic new role and initiative which I'm taking on with great enthusiasm. I am looking forward to supporting our clinical staff by organising trained volunteers to meet with patients and enhance the dedicated care already provided at our trust,' she said.

Having worked as a Dementia Support Worker at the hospital for the past two years, Mrs Moggridge said her previous experience would lend itself very well to her new role, which has been funded for three years by charitable donation.

She added: 'I have also worked with older people in community centres and residential homes and have enjoyed including creative arts to improve patient care.'

Dr Martyn Patel, consultant dementia lead and service director for OPM said: 'We are really excited about this project and how it will enhance the patient experience within the Older People's Medicine department. Having Marianne appointed as an OPM volunteer coordinator will make for a smooth running of the service and will allow patients to use it to its full potential.'

He added: 'We know that from voluntary services already in place, patients really cherish the time spent with volunteers. Even a short positive contact with a volunteer can really make a big impact to someone's overall experience of our hospital'.

Emma McKay, director of nursing said: 'We are extremely grateful for the dedicated work carried out by our volunteers. This is a fantastic initiative to enhance the excellent support given to our patients, and having Marianne in post will be of great benefit for leading this new group of volunteers'.

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