Come dine with a patient!

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Patients at two Doncaster hospitals are hoping a new team of volunteers will accept an invitation to ‘come dine with me’.

The health trust that runs hospitals in Doncaster and Mexborough is looking for people to be ‘Dining Companions’ for patients who need help during meal times.

The increase in patients with dementia, and also those who find it difficult to feed themselves because of their condition, has prompted health bosses at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to introduce a brand new role for people wanting to volunteer in the NHS.

The Dining Companion role involves assisting nursing staff at Doncaster Royal Infirmary and Montagu Hospital in making sure patients are comfortable and ready for their meals.

This includes clearing patients’ bedside tables and offering them hand wipes so they can clean their hands before eating.

The companion will also help with cutting up food, opening packets and assist patients with eating and drinking, as well as providing company to the patient during meal times.

Heather Keane, assistant director of nursing, said: “We are very excited about this new role which offers a completely different type of volunteering experience. It’s very hands-on and involves being able to work as part of a team, communicating with patients, being friendly and showing them kindness and respect.

“Having someone who is ready and able to support patients at meal times is an enormous benefit, aiding their recovery and enhancing the patient experience, so if you are looking for something rewarding and extremely worthwhile, please get in touch.”

All Dining Companions will be given specific training before starting in their roles and will be subject to all the necessary checks due to having direct patient contact. To find out more, contact Nicki Ramshaw on 01302 366666 ext 3610 or email