"Volunteers in Solihull"

About: Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust Solihull Hospital West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

(as a volunteer/advocate),

I am a volunteer in Solihull Hospital and I have been doing this for 3 years part-time. The job is very rewarding and I love to be able to help visitors when they come to the Hospital. I take the patients with their medical records from reception to the place where they are needed for their appointment. This involves lots of walking and is also great for my health.

Some patients use the ambulance transfer service to bring them to their appointments if they can not make their own way to the hospital. This is a wonderful service that patients are very thankful for and always say how helpful the ambulance staff are.

The only thing that is very annoying to me and could be very frustrating to patients is that when a patient is in a wheelchair, they arrive in the reception and then need to wait for a porter to escort them to where they are needed as volunteers are not able to do this. I often find myself running around into A&E and the Children's department trying to look for a porter that is free as volunteer staff can not push wheel chairs for health and safety reasons. I am also not allowed to carry hot drinks to patients that are waiting, even if they are unable to go to the cafe themselves again for health and safety reasons.

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Response from Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust

Thank you for taking the time to send us your comments. Volunteers are extremely valuable to the Trust. I have forwarded the questions and suggestions that you have raised to the Volunteers Manager for comment. If you would like to discuss this further please contact Emma Hale on 0121 424 0941.

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