Ward support volunteers - role description

Tags: Template

16th March 2021



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This role description for ward support volunteers has been developed by the volunteering team at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, specifically for Frailty wards. If you have any questions, please send them to Gillian Reynolds.

Aim: To help patients attain, maintain and restore health via problem solving, goal/objective setting, leadership and decision making. Discharge planning commences on admission and ongoing care and support for patients is co-ordinated and facilitated by staff.

DBS requirements

Yes an enhanced DBS would be required for this role

Key Tasks

  • Interact with patients, including – reading and conversation
  • Support and facilitate patient engagement activity to include music, arts and crafts, bingo
  • Help patients complete their menu choice
  • Making drinks for patients ensure water jugs are replenished
  • Assist giving out meals, encourage patients to eat, ensure they can reach their meal
  • Accompany patients medically fit and able, off the ward for a walk or visit to the gardens – including use of wheelchair, if needed
  • Assist patients / visitors complete Friends and Family Test (FFT) questionnaires prior to discharge
  • To support administrative tasks such as filing and photocopying
  • Making up admission packs
  • Errands to pharmacy and Pathology

Further tasks and duties as identified by Ward Matron and staff team

Your Safety and Protection

  • Social distancing will be in place, to ensure your safety and protection
  • Wear PPE as required by ward staff

Who we are looking for

  • A friendly, adaptable and approachable manner
  • Ability to be empathetic, patient and calm in difficult situations, as they arise
  • Ability to follow instructions and be flexible
  • Ability to act on own initiative, within set boundaries
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Proactive and attentive to patient needs
  • A commitment to support and enhance our patients’ experience
  • The ability to work effectively as part of a team
  • Have a good understanding of confidentiality and respect patient privacy


  • Core working hours between 10 am – 5pm
  • Monday – to Friday
  • Saturday and Sunday
  • Minimum of 2-3 hours per ‘shift’
  • Frequency of weekly shifts – minimum once a week
  • Note – patient engagement activity is between 2- 4pm
  • Hours and frequency of shifts to be agreed with Ward Matron

Training and Support

How you will be supported in your role

  • A named member of MacDonald staff as main point of contact who will support you, assign tasks, answer questions and provide help when you need it
  • Agreed contact and support from named member of ESHT Voluntary Services team
  • Receive a ward information booklet

Volunteers will have received a Volunteer Handbook – which includes, Health and Safety, Information Governance, Fire Safety, Infection Control, Equality and Diversity, Moving and Handling

Supplementary Training as identified by Ward Matron and supported by Voluntary Services Team, which could include -

  • Data Protection and Confidentiality – to be completed on line
  • Wheelchair training
  • FFT training – by Ward staff
  • Understanding Palliative Care
  • Understanding End of Life Care
  • Dementia Awareness
  • Infection control

ESHT Voluntary Services Co-ordinators are based at the Conquest Hospital and Eastbourne