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Find out more about being a hospital psychology volunteer
ANYONE interested in becoming a psychology volunteer at Salisbury District Hospital can find out more at a special recruitment and education day on October 17.
As part of the Trust's Engage programme, volunteers provide additional stimulation and interaction for older people through memory puzzles, discussion groups and reading.
During the recruitment and education day there will be talks from the Salisbury team on the psychological problems that some patients experience while in hospital and an opportunity to talk to existing volunteers about Engage and its impact on patients.
Lizzy Goad, psychology co-ordinator, said: “ Older people often lose independence and self confidence when admitted to hospital, which can lead to short or long term psychological problems such as anxiety and depression.
"Stimulation and social interaction can help alleviate some of the problems that older people could face when they leave familiar surroundings to come into hospital and provide a more interesting and therapeutic environment for them.
“Given that around 66 per cent of our inpatients are over 65 years old, this programme provides vital extra support that they need and, since we started, depression has fallen, patient satisfaction has risen and length of stay has dropped.”
At the start of the programme there were five volunteers who provided support for the psychology team on two elderly care wards. Since then the number of volunteers has risen to 45 and the programme now covers eight wards. The aim is to expand this further to cover all wards across the hospital that provide care for elderly patients.
Ms Goad said: “We want to attract volunteers who are committed to our patients and who can make a difference during a difficult time in their lives.
“Our volunteers have found the work rewarding and enjoyable and we've had excellent feedback from patients and relatives. Volunteers need to have an interest in psychology through formal or informal learning.”
For more information contact Ms Goad through the Clinical Psychology Department on 01722 425105 or email Lizzy.Goad@salisbury.nhs.uk .