Through the project, unpaid volunteers will be on hand to offer patients dedicated support through a host of skills, including; basic relaxation techniques and therapeutic hand massage.
Sam Lewis, Specialist Nurse Practitioner for St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice, explains: “It is often very difficult for patient’s under-going regular dialysis treatment to be able to access some of the services we provide in day therapy due to their treatment commitments.
“We are hoping that our volunteers may be able to bring a little bit of day therapy to those patients and bridge the gap between acute and hospice services. We are aiming to improve the wellbeing of the dialysis patients and educate them about the breadth of services available to them at St Barnabas.”
The program, which is due to start in June, is the first of its kind, and sees the renal unit and St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice working together to provide support to those patients under-going dialysis treatment.
Martin Gerrish, Matron of the Renal Unit at Lincoln County Hospital, said: “Firstly, we would like to thank St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice for their support in this project and we welcome their volunteers into the renal unit. A dialysis patient will spend four hours with us three times a week and this exciting new project will mean that their time here will be improved. The volunteers will be a welcome distraction whilst providing complementary therapies.”
St Barnabas has in excess of 1,000 volunteers who work across almost every area of the organisation, including, but not limited to, the inpatient unit, fundraising department and charity shops.
Lisa Gibson, Volunteer Services Manger at the hospice, said: “Our day therapy volunteers make a valuable contribution to the care offered to patients. We are delighted to be able to offer this new volunteering experience which will enhance the lives of patients attending dialysis.”