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Over 50 volunteers offered an invaluable service delivering belongings to patients whilst visiting was suspended

19th November 2020

Bag drop team portsmouthjpg

Submitted by Caroline O'Connor, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust

Whilst visitor restrictions are in place a drop off station, which was set up in March 2020 enables people to leave essential items for their loved ones.

The bag drop team is made up of volunteers most of who have joined us to help through the pandemic. They are a team of over 50 volunteers and offer loved ones an invaluable service delivering belongings to our patients whilst visiting is suspended. It is an incredible example of one of the many ways in which PHU responded to Covid -19 and was highlighted by the CQC as an example of innovation and inspiration. Many of our local Trusts have also contacted us for details on how to start up similar services at their hospitals.

The impact of this service has been outstanding, saving valuable staff time on the wards, as belongings are delivered and collected to and from the ward areas rather than staff having to collect. The feedback from patient's loved ones has been incredible.

As of 1st August over 14,000 bags have been delivered safely to and from our patients by our bag drop team. In August PHU's Chairman presented the bag drop team with a 'Kindness Award' and said 'These volunteers have made an immeasurable contribution to the wellbeing and care received by patients and their loved ones and have been of invaluable support to our staff. Together they have ensured the safe delivery of belongings to patients. They have helped bring that something very special to people during some difficult times, making things a little easier and peoples days brighter’

The feedback we have received clearly shows how this team demonstrates excellence and makes a difference. Our volunteers have been sent many cards, messages and gifts from those who they have helped.

'Your service is operated by kind and reassuring people.'

'It was such a help and comfort for my husband.'

'In these difficult times where our loved one is in hospital, alone and away from his family, it is very reassuring that the hospital has such wonderful volunteers ensuring we are able to keep our granddad stocked up with things he needs to cheer him up.'

'Thank you all on behalf of many others who you have helped.'

'It was a HUGE help for us today.'

‘The volunteers were so kind and lovely.'

'We are so appreciative of this service.'

'Being able to receive my personal items has really helped me a lot and I can't praise the team enough.'

'I never worry about coming into hospital as I know I am in safe hands and a service like this really shows how caring they are.'

What our Bag Drop Volunteers say:

'I am really glad to be doing this and feel like I am making a real difference to the experience of patients'

'Some relatives who drop off items can get really emotional so I am here to listen and make sure the patients receive their personal belongings.'

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