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Putting carers on the map at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn

In her monthly Ward Round column, hospital CEO Alice Webster talks about carers and the important role they play…

June has been a month of reflection, recognition and celebration. The events I have attended in recent days only further cement in my mind the resilience and passion shown here at The QEH each and every day.

At the start of the month, we celebrated National Volunteers Week with a special thank-you event for the 140 volunteers who collectively donated 20,000 hours of their time to The QEH last year. This army of willing helpers give up their time to provide valuable support across the hospital in clinical and support services. From our buggy drivers and smiling front desk receptionists to ward helpers and pharmacy runners, they play an important role within our teams and work across 30 departments at Team QEH.

West Norfolk Carers now have a base at The QEH
West Norfolk Carers now have a base at The QEH

We are so lucky to have such an amazing group of individuals helping us to provide the very best experience for our patients, their families, and visitors by offering a friendly face, listening ear and kindness daily, throughout their very different roles. We are indebted to our volunteer colleagues who support us with this so well – and it was a pleasure to thank them all with a celebration event.

If you’d like to join our team of volunteers you can find out more on the Get Involved section of our QEH website.

On Thursday, June 6 we joined the nation in commemorating the 80th Anniversary of D-Day. We were joined at our service by a 97-year-old veteran who was an inpatient in one of our wards at the time. Our team knew how keen he was to join the commemorations so, in true QEH style, they worked hard to make it possible for him and his family to attend. Hearing his story as well as those from others who fought was humbling and truly inspirational, providing a stark reminder of the sacrifice made by so many.

QEH CEO Alice Webster
QEH CEO Alice Webster

Last week our teams here embraced the national call to ‘put carers on the map’ as part of Carers Week. This is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, spotlighting the challenges unpaid carers face and helping them access support.

We have an established and active Carers Forum, which gives patients, relatives and carers a platform to discuss their own experiences, gather information and contribute to the design of future care. In April this year, The QEH partnered with the charity West Norfolk Carers (WNC) to give them a base within the hospital to support people to receive the help they need.

This partnership has brought about a real change to the way in which WNC is able to support carers. They closely work with teams across the hospital, particularly family liaison officers, to support patients and their loved ones.

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