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Transport companions at West Suffolk Hospital will help patients get home safely and happily

Volunteers are helping hospital patients get home safely after they are discharged.

The new role of transport companion enables patients to experience a smooth transition homes.

This is a partnership between the West Suffolk Hospital Foundation Trust and Helpforce, a non profit organisation set up by philanthropist Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett.

Jacqui Ricot, centre with West Suffolk Hospital's early intervention team (5496948)
Jacqui Ricot, centre with West Suffolk Hospital's early intervention team (5496948)

Initially it will help patients going home from the emergency department and acute medical unit.

Michelle Boor, the trust’s community volunteers coordinator, said: "Developing this role has been a real team effort, from the staff in the early intervention team, to our colleagues in social care and the Red Cross and even the volunteers themselves.

“It’s the little things that make a difference - our volunteers can put the heating on and make sure they’ve got some milk in the fridge for a cup of tea. It’s a personal touch to welcome the patient home.”

Jacqui Ricot, who started volunteering in April, said: “I think the biggest thing I do for our patients is help them not to be so anxious about returning home. I’m a helping hand for the practical things to help them settle back home after being in hospital.”

If you can volunteer phone 01284 713169 or email voluntary.services@wsh.nhs.uk

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