End of life care volunteers will play vital role

The Northern Health Trust is looking for end of life care volunteers.

Thursday, 12th March 2020, 9:14 am
The number of day care centres will be reduced in Derry.

Almost three in every ten patients in hospital are in their last year of life, yet some of them will die alone on a busy ward, spend long periods on their own, or have little company in hospital.

In addition, where family are present, there may be times when they feel alone or frightened.

A new collaboration between Helpforce, an organisation on a mission to bring more volunteers to the NHS and Marie Curie will help to change this.

With funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, Sowerby, the Welsh Government, and Marie Curie they are launching seven innovative projects across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, which will mean more end of life care volunteers present in hospitals in the first instance, to provide additional support to patients, families and friends, and staff

The Trust will embed end of life care volunteers in Antrim Area Hospital in the first instance. The volunteers will support those people who are dying and where appropriate their families, be there for them, and take some of the burden at what can be a very difficult time.

They will provide companionship and alleviate social isolation, thus reducing the number of people who will die alone.

Eugene Douglas, Charge Nurse, Antrim Hospital commented: “This is a welcome initiative which will enhance the compassionate support for patients and those important to them at a difficult time which can be distressing and overwhelming. If you are interested in learning more or registering to become an End of Life companion contact: [email protected]