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The work of volunteers has been praised at the Chesterfield Royal Hospital after attaining a highly prestigious accolade.

The Trust has achieved the Investing in Volunteers Quality Standard following an application, supported by Chesterfield Royal Hospital Charity. The Standard aims to improve the quality of the volunteering experience for all volunteers and allows the Royal to acknowledge the enormous and valuable contribution they make to the care of patients and support of staff.

The process started in March 2019 and involved a number of workshops, a self-assessment report and submissions of evidence of best practice.  A two day site assessment was then carried out involving our Chair, Chief Executive and a group of no less than 25 volunteers who were interviewed about their understanding, experience and the value of volunteering at the Trust.

Richard Ball is the Royal’s Volunteering Services Manager, he said: “We currently have 190 volunteers across a range of services within the hospital, all of them giving their precious time of their own free will. The work they do in supporting our staff and enhancing the patient experience is immeasurable and achieving this standard is a testament to the effort they all put in.

“We are constantly looking at how our volunteers affect the way our patients and staff experience this hospital’s services and have recently introduced the service into different areas. We now have trained volunteers who provide companionship to End of Life patients; we have chaplaincy volunteers, maternity support and volunteers who chat with our patients having Chemotherapy and make them cups of tea. 

“In 2019 alone our volunteers provided a total of 20,291 hours of help to patients which includes more than 5,000 hours on our wards, more than 1,500 hours from our chaplaincy and ‘End of Life’ companions and 1,126 hours supporting patients and staff in our Emergency Department. They’ve also been involved in putting together carers’ packs, end of life packs, wrapping Christmas presents and wayfinding for visitors and patients. Then there’s the Royal Rider, also supported by the Chesterfield Royal Hospital Charity, which has been an enormous success in supporting patients and visitors with mobility issues, carrying more than 40,000 patients last year which equates to one every six and a half minutes.

“I’m delighted that the Trust and this service has been recognised and I’d like to thank Emma, Helen and Carol as part of my team, the Chesterfield Royal Hospital Charity and all of our volunteers for making this happen. I’m so proud to lead the excellent Voluntary Services and all of the wonderful volunteers who so positively touch the lives of patients, visitors and staff from admission to discharge”

Investing in Volunteers is based on four areas of volunteer management; planning for volunteer involvement, recruiting volunteers, selecting and matching volunteers and supporting and retaining volunteers. Further information can be found on www.iiv.investinginvolunteers.org.uk.

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