Volunteer role profile: Bedside Buddy

Role Bedside Buddy
Location Nightingale Hospital Birmingham
Role purpose To support the delivery of patient care at the Nightingale Hospital Birmingham
Days and times required 11:00 - 20:00, Monday – Sunday
Deployed by Voluntary Services Coordinator
Supervised by Registered nurse for pod and ward housekeeper
Duties to be undertaken
  • Assisting ward staff,making drinks for suitable patient
  • Making drinks for staff
  • Assisting staff in serving meals and drinks to patients, including encouraging patients to eat where appropriate
  • Working closely with nursing staff to confirm which patients are appropriate to provide meals/drink
  • Befriending patients, listening to and talking to them 
  • Supporting patients to complete activities such as crosswords and activity books
  • Supporting virtual visiting using tablet computers and helping patients make telephone calls to relatives 
  • Delivering "letters for loved ones" to patients and reading out if required
  • Collating/assisting with writing postcards to relatives
  • Completing family liaison proforma with nurse and returning to Family Liaison team
  • Moving patient property (non-valuable) to store
  • Inducting and supporting new volunteer colleagues
  • Assisting ward housekeeper in maintenance and stocking of ward supply levels
  • Transportation of equipment and supplies
  • Demonstrating effective communication with patients, staff and other members of the multi-disciplinary tea
  • Transporting self-caring/mobile patients on the ward in wheelchairs (the patient must be able to get in/out on their own)
Skills/attributes required
  • Good communication skills
  • Ability to follow instructions
  • Willingness to help and support staff and patients
  • Empathy and compassion
  • Calm manner
  • Must be comfortable working in a clinical environment with patients that may be distressed and anxious and acutely unwell
  • Must be comfortable working in an emotionally distressing and fast-moving environment
  • Must have understanding of the need for confidentially
Training required
  • Mandatory induction
  • Hospital layout
  • Catering process
  • Local volunteer placement induction
Environment This role is based within the wards at Nightingale Hospital Birmingham, where COVID-19-positive patients are treated. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and training will be provided
Expenses Paid at 25p per mile by BACS transfer following submission/approval of a claim form
DBS level Enhanced
Areas of work Ward and concourse areas
Uniform Scrubs

Duties not to be undertaken by volunteers

  • Volunteers must not give food or drink to patients without being instructed by the nurse. Some patients have swallowing difficulties and could choke if given inappropriate food/drink
  • At no time must a volunteer put themselves at risk
  • Volunteers must not enter clinical areas without appropriate personal protective equipment
  • Volunteers must not assist in the lifting or handling of a patient
  • Volunteers must not involve themselves in clinical care, other than to comfort a patient during a procedure
  • Volunteers must not assist in the toileting and bathing of patients
  • Volunteers must not carry out any documenting of patients’ treatment or of nursing processes
  • Volunteers must not involve themselves in admission and discharge procedures
  • Volunteers must not involve themselves in aggressive incidents
  • Volunteers must only write in patient notes if instructed, and if signed off in the notes by the nurse (e.g. regarding family liaison or food chart completion)
  • Volunteers must not answer enquiries about patients from patients, visitors or staff
  • Volunteers must not escort patients out of the hospital grounds, unless under the direction of a ward manager

If you are ever unsure of what to do, please check with your supervising nurse or housekeeper, depending on the query.