Volunteers step forward to help hospital patients
A NEW volunteer service to enhance patients' stay in the Stroud hospitals is nearing its launch.
Helpers are being recruited to work on the wards supporting and helping patients and staff.
The Stroud Hospitals League of Friends and the NHS's Gloucestershire Care Services are encouraging the new scheme, which already operates in hospitals in Gloucester and Cheltenham.
League of Friends' administrator Susan Strongitharm was keen to stress that the volunteers would not be doing the work of hospital staff.
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"It might be reading to people, playing games, befriending, sitting with people at meal times, not feeding, ensuring they have everything they need, cutlery, napkins and things," she said.
A coffee morning yesterday at the Post Graduate Room at Stroud General Hospital encouraged membership of the Friends Volunteer Service.
A second similar session is planned on Monday from 2pm to 4pm in the same venue.
Those attending the League of Friends AGM in the Subscription Rooms was told about the new service and learned £141,000 had been spent in 2011 on equipment and other buys to supplement care at Stroud General, Stroud Maternity, Weaver's Croft and the Health Centre.
"The friends are now embarking on a new project with NHS Gloucestershire to refurbish and upgrade a number of important areas in Stroud General Hospital, including endoscopy and audiology, together with much of the ground floor of the hospital," Mrs Strongitharm said.
"The trustees stressed it is important for our community to use the fine facilities and services at Stroud Maternity and Stroud General Hospital in order to help ensure they continue to be provided now and in the future."