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Role Description: Maternity Base

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: Maternity Base

ROLE: Volunteer


Maternity Base provides care for antenatal women who have been diagnosed with a high-risk medical condition that needs treatment or monitoring as an inpatient. Mat Base also provides inpatient care for women recovering from high risk medical conditions they have had during pregnancy, and for women recovering from a difficult labour or delivery. The ward also provides transitional care for babies that need a higher level of care than usual, but who do not need admitting to the Neonatal Unit. There are approximately 80 beds.

  • You must always report to the Ward Manager or Shift Leader on arrival.
  • Always introduce yourself to each patient, and explain what your role is and how you can help them. Check with the clinical staff which patients must not be disturbed.
  • Talking to and befriending patients
  • Making midwives and other staff aware of any patient concerns
  • Assisting staff in preparing rooms and bed areas for new patients, and supporting staff during the admittance procedure
  • Assist in transferring women from delivery suite and to jeffcoate ward
  • Supporting recovering mothers who may have difficulties lifting and holding their babies
  • Supporting mothers who are having ‘skin to skin’ contact with their babies
  • Watching over babies if requested by patients whilst they register the birth, take showers, go for a walk etc.
  • Give out feeding bottles
  • Help the ward staff give out meals to patients at meal times.
  • Help the ward Hostess give out jugs of water, and collect them in. It is the ward Hostesses role, not yours, to sanitise the water jugs. You can refill a patients jug of water as long as it is the same jug for the same patient
  • Run errands for patients and staff
  • Ensure patients are aware of the system for registering births in the hospital
  • Escorting patients to other departments in the hospital e.g. Registrars Office, Neonatal Ward etc.
  • Helping women take baby to paediatrician appointments
  • Keep bed area tidy e.g. flowers, empty and clean vases, refill water jug etc.
  • Compiling admission and discharge information packs for patients and ensuring adequate supplies for use by ward staff
  • Collecting items from other departments e.g. baby warmers from delivery suite
  • Making tea and toast for patients when directed by ward staff
  • Answer the telephone and take a message when there are no staff available
  • Answering door intercom and allowing access to the ward
  • Helping to carry the belongings of discharged patients
  • Helping ward staff deal with visitors during visiting times
  • Man the Reception Desk outside the entrance to Mat Base during visiting hours. Ask to be relieved by another volunteer or member of staff if you have been at the desk for more than 1 hour.
  • Ensuring that the patient leaflet racks are kept tidy and stocked up, maintaining stocks of leaflets and re-ordering when appropriate
  • Keeping notice boards tidy, including ‘Thank you cards’ board and ensuring cards are stored safely for future reference.
  • When directed by ward staff escort patients to showers, carry towel, soap bag etc.
  • When directed by ward staff escort patients to scans.
  • Ensuring laboratory form cupboard is tidy and stocked up
  • Keeping disposable glove, apron and hibiscrub dispensers stocked up
  • Any other duties that the ward staff feel are supportive to the patients
  • Encourage and help patients fill in Exit Cards
  • When a new volunteer joins the service, you may be asked to be their buddy and show them the role and around the ward and hospital.
  • You may be asked to conduct surveys with patients using an electronic hand held device or paper questionnaires
  • 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 (including bathing babies), toileting

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 Medical Assessment Unit

Role Description: Volunteer in Midwifery Led Unit

Role Description: Delivery Suite Volunteer

Maternity Base Volunteers Specific Roles

Role Description: Maternity Ward Support and Companion