Emergency Department Volunteer Health Champions are people who voluntarily give their time to support patients, carers and staff in the Emergency Department. Key to the role is the development of positive relationships, between volunteers, staff, and people using the A&E service.
Emergency Department Volunteer Health Champions offer a friendly face, someone to talk to, and also practical support and information on hospital services, health and wellbeing. Activities can include:-
- Providing reassurance and making people feel more comfortable, for example, by offering drinks or magazines, explaining what happens in the A&E department, keeping people company.
- Sign-posting – how to find cafe’s, car parks or particular departments
- Supporting people who do not speak English as a first language
- Alerting staff if the person is in difficulty.
Both staff and people using the Emergency Department service report finding Volunteer Health Champions very helpful, since they are often a ‘friendly face’ when people are in a distressing situation. They may also have more time to offer to people, since staff may be busy carrying out clinical tasks.