Urgent appeal as pandemic impacts staffing at local hospitals

Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust that runs both Swanage and Wareham Hospitals is making an urgent appeal for volunteers to help support its NHS staff.

Across the country, the coronavirus crisis means that NHS staff are exhausted, facing illness and having to take time off work to self-isolate and the situation at Swanage and Wareham Hospitals is no different.

Staff are also undertaking extra work at the vaccination hubs. This is leaving certain specified roles in the hospitals that could be filled by volunteers.

Exterior of Wareham Hospital

“Urgently seeking enthusiastic, energetic, supportive volunteers”

The volunteers development lead for Dorset Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Kim Mansbridge is now asking everyone to share widely the appeal for volunteers. She said:

“We are urgently seeking enthusiastic, energetic, supportive volunteers to help us at both Swanage and Wareham Hospitals.

“At Swanage Hospital we are looking for volunteers to help in the hospital assisting patients and staff. The role would enhance the care our staff are able to provide. This role would also involve helping on the ward.

“At Wareham Hospital you would be assisting patients to access our clinics, which run most days, helping with social distancing, hand sanitising and face masks. The changes can be daunting for some patients and you would be there to provide information and reassurance.

“Each volunteering shift would be three to four hours in the morning or afternoon and it’s important to point out this role may require you to stand for long periods of time.

“With both roles, a DBS check is required, which we will undertake for you. Social distancing, wearing of a face mask and adhering to infection control practices are necessary. We will provide PPE, local and mandatory training, together with a full volunteer uniform.”

Wordsworth House Care Home

Successful appeal for help by Wordsworth House

This follows the successful appeal for help with staffing by Wordsworth House Care Home in Swanage, that faced a crisis after 34 out of its 40 residents tested positive for Covid-19, alongside 30 of its employees, leaving only 14 members of staff to look after residents.

Wordsworth House operations manager, Kellie Cooke said:

“Thank you to everyone who has offered to help at this awful time. We have had loads of offers of help, enough for now, and will get around to replying to everyone. We have also been overwhelmed with generous gifts of chocolates and treats and we really appreciate every single one of them.”

Contact Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust about volunteering

To find out more, ask questions or receive an application form, please email dhc.volunteers@nhs.net

Front entrance of Swanage Hospital

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