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Despite having a condition which affects his balance, Ray continues to volunteer on a daily basis

20th November 2020

Submitted by Nicola Withington, Tameside & Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust

After working in Care in the Community for 16 years, Ray Astle heard from a friend about volunteering at our Trust and started with us in January 2019, helping out on the Acute Medical Ward.

When it was announced that volunteer services across the Trust would need to pause due to COVID, Ray was keen to carry on supporting the hospital patients in other ways. Due to his wonderful character and skills Ray was asked to join the Patient Experience Team and support them in ensuring that patient’s could still receive personal belongings whilst visiting had stopped across the hospital due to the pandemic. Despite having a condition which affects his balance, Ray continues to volunteer on a daily basis receiving and delivering items to patients from their loved ones and making their stay more comfortable.

Ray says: "Volunteering has kept me motivated and I am able to give something back. It helps me engage with others both staff and patients. Doing volunteering has enabled me to still be able to care and delivering patient property has been great exercise."

The Patient Property Service has been an amazing success! It is open between the hours of 9:30-3:30, 7 days a week and has run every day since it was launched in March 2020. We have safely delivered over 3000 items of patient property to our wards since the beginning of March 2020 and received similar amounts of laundry to be returned to families. The service has helped to keep loved ones connected and involved with our patient’s whilst visiting has been suspended. Our Health Information Centre was adapted to accommodate the service, which is situated in the main entrance of our hospital. The use of barriers and appropriate personal protective equipment have been used to ensure that infection prevention and social distancing measures are followed at all times.


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