Salisbury - Using Psychology students to enhance wellbeing of patients

Tags: Report, Guidance

16th March 2021



DSC 3486 2

Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

Why have psychology volunteers on the wards?

  • Currently over 2/3rds of patients on our wards are over 65 years old.
  • Levels of anxiety and depression in this group of people are significantly higher than in any other age category.

Poor mental well-being can lead to:

  • Deterioration in physical health
  • Difficulty in engaging with rehabilitation
  • A prolonged stay in hospital.

Many people find it difficult being away from their own safe and familiar environments as well as friends and family. Being in hospital can be isolating and lonely.

Patients can lose a sense of their identity when entering somewhere unfamiliar such as a hospital.

Our aims:
To improve the amount of cognitive and social stimulation people receive to help decrease levels of anxiety and depression, build self esteem, confidence and recreate a sense of identity that can often be lost when entering a hospital.

Our volunteers are specially trained to help our patients to overcome all these issues.

How do we select and train our volunteers?

  • Volunteers undergo a strict application process.
  • They must send us a CV and application letter.
  • If they are successful they will be invited for an interview.
  • If they are offered a voluntary position they must then undergo a Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check and Occupational Health
  • once these have been cleared they will have an induction day which covers all the information needed to work safely in a hospital and the training necessary to work with a diverse group of people.

What kinds of things do the volunteers do with patients?

  • Reminiscence therapy
  • Memory games
  • Crosswords, word searches, Sudoku
  • Cards
  • Read magazines, books and newspapers
  • Patient-led discussion
  • Practical tasks such as filling in menu cards.

For the full document please download the attached PDF.