Volunteers play an important role in NHS Highland and across the organisation there are a number of those who already give their time to help improve the health and wellbeing of patients, service users and their families and carers.
Within the Macmillan Suite there is already a small number of volunteers who welcome patients and visitors and undertake a number of tasks. Many of them have been part of the team since the department opened in 2003 and the department is keen to add to this dedicated team.
Fiona Campbell, NHS Highland Clinical Nurse Specialist for Oncology and Chemotherapy, explained that it’s not just patients who benefit from this but also the volunteers themselves.
She said: “The benefits to patients and those accompanying them are immeasurable. The volunteers freely give their time and help make patients and visitors feel welcome. They provide hospitality by offering refreshments and if appropriate, companionship in what can be a busy, frightening environment.
“The ambiance of the department is greatly improved with them being there and their ability to offer support, experience, time and attention to our patients can not be underestimated.”
Ms Campbell explained that volunteers also occasionally undertake minor clerical tasks such as photocopying and one or two have been known to undertake some light gardening tasks but do not in any way replace paid employees.
The department also has a small but increasing number of trained Complementary Therapists who offer patients therapies such as massage and reflexology on a voluntary basis.
She said: “Whilst there is no doubt that it is very helpful to the staff and the patients to have the volunteers available, the volunteers themselves also get a lot out of it.
“The experience can provide them with a sense of belonging, social interaction and a sense of achievement from knowing they are doing something to help the community.”
If you would like to volunteer please contact Fiona Campbell, Macmillan Unit, Raigmore Hospital on 01463 704037 or via email at Fiona.firstname.lastname@example.org