NNUH’s first Butterfly Volunteers begin their training
The first Butterfly Volunteers have begun their training at NNUH to provide extra comfort and support to patients at the end of their life.
The hospital is the second Trust in the country to join the initiative, which was started by the Anne Robson Trust last year.
The first 15 Butterfly Volunteers started their training today (Friday 7 June) who will provide companionship and company to patients who are recognised as being in the last days and hours of their lives.
The scheme gives particular focus to patients who have no other visitors and has the goal of making sure that no patient dies alone.
Prof Nancy Fontaine, NNUH Chief Nurse, who is a patron of the Anne Robson Trust and is a trained Butterfly Volunteer, volunteered on a ward today as part of National Volunteers Week.
Nancy, who introduced the scheme at the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust in Harlow, said: “I have seen first-hand what a huge difference it makes to patients in their final hours or days to have someone there, focused on their needs, and I’m excited that we are offering this compassionate care here. It can be as simple as reading to them, or just being there to offer solace.”
The volunteers will be led by Emma Taylor, Butterfly Volunteer Co-ordinator, who is seeking recruits for the team.
She said: “We’re looking for around 35 Butterfly volunteers by the end of the year, who are able to volunteer for any of the periods from 10am-1pm, 2-4pm and 4-6pm from Monday to Friday.
Many of people who get in touch with the Anne Robson Trust have a personal experience of loved ones dying in hospitals and everyone who comes forward needs to have an interest and a passion to help others to ensure that patients who are at the end of their lives do not die alone.”
The focus of a Butterfly Volunteer role is on the patients, but they will also be there to reassure and support their families, whether that’s organising a carer’s passport, getting them a cup of tea or arranging any additional help they might need.
They will work closely with Palliative Care and Chaplaincy teams, as well as ward staff.
The Trust will be looking for more volunteers in September and to find out more about being a Butterfly Volunteer, email Emma.Taylor@nnuh.nhs.uk
For more information, visit https://www.annerobsontrust.org.uk/