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Role Description: Delivery Suite Volunteer

Tags: Guidance, Template

11th March 2021



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Thank you to Gina Barr the Volunteer Services Manager at Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust for sharing this document.


Location: Delivery Suite

Role: Volunteer

Responsible to: Delivery Suite Manager

The Delivery Suite is a busy area that deals with a wide variety of deliveries including deliveries requiring medical intervention, high risk pregnancies, women who request a high degree of pain relief etc. The induction Suite, and Obstetric theatres are also based on the delivery Suite.

  • Introductions

You must always report to the Ward Manager or Shift Leader on arrival.

  • Assisting staff in ensuring rooms are ready for new patients and supporting staff during the admittance procedure.

Is the room too hot/too cold? Are there enough pillows on the bed? Is there a fresh jug of water at the bedside? Does the woman want help putting her belongings in the lockers?

Being around to be an extra pair of hands for the midwife whilst she is admitting the woman onto the unit can be a great help to the midwife and also a reassurance to the woman.

The woman will then be aware that volunteers are around and then feel more at ease asking volunteers for support etc.

  • Talking to and befriending patients.

For many women having a baby and being away from home can be quite a stressful time. Not being at home and being able to do the things we take for granted can also be very frustrating. They may also feel lonely, anxious, and overwhelmed. The ward routine can also be disorientating. Having someone who has the time to chat and listen to their worries can be very comforting for the women.

  • Making midwives and other staff aware of any patient concerns.

Sometimes women find it easier to talk to someone who isn’t involved in their care. Often women have worries and concerns that they haven’t shared with anyone else, or feel that they don’t want to waste anyone’s time. Often these issues can be resolved quite easily and quickly once a member of staff is involved. Volunteers can play a very important role in making midwives aware of issues that the women are concerned about and haven’t already spoken to anyone about.

  • Assist in transferring women from Delivery Suite to Maternity Base and Jeffcoate.

Help carry belongings. Making sure nothing is left behind. You may be asked to do this instead of a member of staff who can then carry on with other tasks.

  • Supporting mothers who are having ‘skin to skin’ contact with their babies.

Following the delivery of her baby the mother may be tired. However she may still want to hold her baby in the ‘skin to skin’ position etc. At the same time she may also be anxious that she may fall asleep and let the baby slip, in which case having a volunteer who can sit with her will be a reassurance for both the mother and the staff. If the mother’s partner is present they could use the opportunity to contact family etc. whilst a volunteer is with the mother.

  • Answering the door intercom and allowing access to the unit.

Staff are often distracted from other tasks, simply to answer the intercom. Once you are familiar with the unit you will feel confident enough to answer the intercom to allow partners onto the unit. This will ease some pressure on the staff and also help prevent partners getting impatient when waiting outside the unit.

  • Answering the telephone when no staff are available

This will often mean taking a message and passing this on to the appropriate member of staff. If relatives ring to ask how women are, you will not be able to pass any information on, unless a midwife is present.

  • Comfort Rounds

The Comfort Round is every hour and provides women and their birthing partner with a drink and biscuit or by going to the hospital shop for them, and alert supporting staff if a patient or their birthing partner requires assistance. Volunteers are not allowed to enter the suite of a patient in established labour; therefore you should ask the midwife in charge to provide a list of eligible patients and room numbers before starting each and every Comfort Round.

  • Food and drink for women

Women can often be admitted to the ward and miss the scheduled mealtimes. Therefore in addition to the Comfort rounds, a midwife ask you to make tea and toast etc as and when required. A woman may also ask for a snack in between meals, or a drink etc. You should always check with the midwife caring for that woman, before getting any food or drink for the woman.

  • Other duties that are supportive to the woman
  • Supporting the Ward clerks

Compiling Admission and discharge Information packs for patients and supporting staff to ensure that all women have been issued with a pack. Ensure the patient leaflet racks are kept tidy and stocked up. Maintain stocks of leaflets and re-order when appropriate.

Photocopy and filing.

Keep the bed board up to date.

Collecting and returning notes.

  • General housekeeping tasks.

Keep rooms tidy i.e. flowers, empty and clean vases, refill water jug etc.

Keeping notice boards tidy, including ‘Thank You cards’ board and ensuring cards are stored safely for future reference.

Keeping disposable glove and apron dispensers socked up.

Collecting items from other departments e.g. baby warmers from delivery etc.

  • Buddying

When a new volunteer joins the service, you may be asked to show them the role and around the ward and hospital.

  • Surveys

You may be asked to conduct staff surveys occasionally.

  • Fundraising

You may be asked on occasion to take part in fundraising activities such as selling raffle tickets or assisting on the fundraising barrow.

Excluded tasks

There are a number of tasks that volunteers must not carry out under any circumstances. These are: -

  • Lifting patients, even when a member of staff is assisting
  • Give drinks/food to patients unless authorised by a member of the clinical staff team
  • Give clinical information to a patient, relative or visitor
  • Escort patients off the wards without authorisation from a member of the clinical staff team
  • Take part in the clinical care of a patient e.g. assist a patient who is vomiting
  • Touch or move equipment e.g. drip stands, monitors etc. unless authorised to do so by a senior member of staff
  • Escort patients to the smoking shelter on site, or take them off site to smoke tobacco
  • Clean up or handle items soiled with bodily fluids or excrement
  • Chaperone patients
  • Volunteers should not be involved in patients personal care e.g. bathing, toileting
  • Volunteers must not photocopy patient information or confidential information

Health & Safety Policy

The Trust has a Health & Safety Policy that it actively promotes. Some of the issues that you need to be aware of whilst working at the Hospital are: -

  • Lifting of patients should only be carried out by the clinical staff who have been trained in the proper procedures to follow.
  • Do not allow visitors onto the wards unless authorised by the ward staff.
  • Do not attempt to clean up vomit, blood, urine etc. Inform a member of staff.
  • In the unlikely event that a patient becomes aggressive or violent inform a member of staff immediately and let them deal with it.
  • Babies must only be taken off the wards if accompanied by a member of staff. Inform a member of staff immediately if this does not happen.

Important note for volunteers

If you are asked to do a task that is not included on the above list and you feel the task is not appropriate for you to do, please speak to the Ward Manager, Matron or the Voluntary Services Manager.

You may also be interested in:

Role Description: Volunteer in Midwifery Led Unit

Maternity Base Volunteers Specific Roles

Role Description: Maternity Base

Role Description: Volunteer Medical Assessment Unit

Role Description: Maternity Ward Support and Companion