A hospital stay can be a lonely and stressful time, so The Wesley Hospital in Auchenflower has launched Compassionate Care, a new initiative supporting vulnerable patients.
Compassionate Care is an extension of the End of Life Compassionate Care service developed by Wesley Hospital Chaplain Leanne Duncan and its focus is on providing non-clinical support to patients who may need social engagement while they are getting other treatments.
“While routines in hospital are focused on providing the high-quality clinical care this environment can at times be disruptive and stressful, especially when a patient does not have a support network close to them,” Leanne said.
“We know that social engagement has many benefits for patients and is demonstrated to support recovery and reduce the length of stay in hospital.
“We identify our vulnerable patients as those who may be in hospital for a long period of time, those who come from regional/remote areas, those with no family or friends close by and those with mobility or cognitive impairments.”
Trained volunteers are an integral part of this new initiative. They visit the patients at the hospital ward to share a meal, talk over a cup of coffee, do jigsaw puzzles or board games, or have a walk in the gardens, as approved by the patient’s care manager.
VIP Service Volunteer Pauline said she jumped at the opportunity to make such a meaningful impact on the patients.
“This feeds my heart, I really enjoy spending time with these people, they get the opportunity to take their minds off their hospital stay and talk about something different,” Pauline said.
“Some of the patients live regionally or remotely and have limited support networks here in Brisbane, having a friendly face to chat with makes a huge impact. I love seeing them at the end of my visit far more animated than when I first walked in, I feel like I made a difference.”
Compassionate Care was trialed at Nurse Unit Manager Kerrie Blocksidge’s ward which is comprised mostly of older patients.
“We absolutely love the VIP service here and it has made such a positive impact not only with our patients but our nursing staff as well,” Kerrie said.
“You can’t measure happiness but we certainly notice a change in our patients after they have had a visit from a volunteer, I believe it’s a wonderful initiative and we would welcome more volunteers to our ward any day.”
The Wesley Hospital is still in need of volunteers to become a Compassionate Companion, who will work alongside clinical staff in four-hour shifts at various wards across the hospital.
If interested, contact Leanne at email@example.com or visit the official site.
Published 14 March 2023