Hospital bosses need help at mealtimes

Hospital bosses have appealed for volunteers to come forward to give extra support to patients at mealtimes.

The Peterborough and Stamford Hospital Trust’s mealtime companion initiative aims to increase patients’ nutritional intake by providing support and encouragement while they eat. Volunteers help patients choose meals, assist with menus and hand washing, and provide encouragement and companionship during two hour slots at lunch and dinner.

Ward manager Jayne Warburton said: “The mealtime companions provide an invaluable service to both our patients and ward staff. Mealtimes on the ward can be busy and the volunteers help us ensure that patients are eating regularly, which aids their recovery.”

Valerie Liscoe, from Caster, started volunteering as a mealtime companion in October 2014 and has been helping patients on Ward A9 at Peterborough City Hospital ever since.

She said: “Patients, especially the elderly, can often get lonely, but the company and support offered by the volunteers at meal times breaks up their day and gives them something to look forward to.”

If you are interested in becoming a meal time companion, or would like more information, please contact Bo Turner on 01733 673385.