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Chief Nurse's Blog

Chief Nurse’s Blog

Date of release: 2 June 2020

Latest News: Ann-Marie Cannaby Blog

Welcome back to the blog. This week I would like to talk to you about National Volunteers Week, which started yesterday.

At our Trust we are promoting the week by highlighting the contributions of several of our volunteers, who provide superb support to our staff across all three of our sites at New Cross, West Park and Cannock Chase Hospitals. These people, who selflessly give their time for nothing, are particularly valued at this challenging time.

Previous to COVID-19, nearly 450 volunteers supported the Trust in various roles across all locations. As the pandemic began the Trust was contacted by many members of the public keen to provide their assistance. This ran parallel with many schools and colleges closing and students wishing to help and many employees having non-essential work suspended meaning that they also had time to offer.

The Trust has therefore taken forward recruitment of new volunteers into the clinical volunteer role supporting our wards, and at the end of March, it received 350 applications from members of the public wishing to volunteer. As part of the recruitment process, these new volunteers received generic training to prepare them for the role. Many have since been placed into clinical volunteer support across wards and in particular, many have supported on the three wards at West Park Hospital.

Latest News: National Volunteers' Week

We opened up this volunteering opportunity to anyone over the age of 16; as a consequence it has been pleasing to see how many people between the age of 16 to 18 came forward at this time to offer their support while not being able to attend school or college. This not only gives them useful work experience and provides the opportunity for them to contribute to their local community, but can also provide them with an insight into health and social care roles and gives them the chance to explore potential career pathways.

On a sad note we said farewell to one of our most well known volunteers last week. Ken Yates was vice chairman of the Wolverhampton Coronary Aftercare Support Group and gave 34 years of his life to helping staff and patients on our cardiac wards, joining the Trust in September 1986 after suffering a heart attack himself. Ken, who was 88, volunteered every day by making tea for staff and patients at wards in the Heart and Lung Centre, right up to the start of the until the COVID-19 crisis in March.

A hugely popular figure, he spoke his mind whether chatting to consultants or other members of staff and was well respected for it. The immense respect in which he was held was demonstrated by the turnout at a drive-through by the Heart and Lung Centre on the day of his funeral. Over 300 staff - including our Chief Executive, David Loughton - and patients, clapped and sang in his honour. He will be sorely and sadly missed.

A Teaching Trust of the University of Birmingham