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Tech-savvy volunteers happy to help patients

volunteers weekA hospital volunteer has come up with an innovative idea that will help patients and visitors navigate their way across the four hospitals on the main Oxford Road site of Central Manchester University Hospitals (CMFT).

Thanks to the idea of Roy Williams, a senior volunteer at the Trust, an online library of photographic images showing key areas and departments on the hospital site has been developed.  Volunteers will use iPads to show visitors images of their final destination and key points en route.  This is a vast improvement on the printed instruction sheets they used to use and makes navigation around the vast site much easier.

Using iPads is much more efficient, interactive and cost effective, reducing administration time and printing costs.  The iPads used by the volunteers have been purchased from the Trust's charitable funds.

"Our volunteers play a vital role in supporting our patients and visitors and ensuring that they have a positive experience at our hospitals," said Debra Armstrong, Deputy Director of Nursing (Quality), at CMFT.  "We're grateful to Roy for this great idea, which is making a real difference.  Improving patient experience is a key priority for us and a vital part of our on-going work.  We are extremely grateful to the Trust's charitable funds for supporting the purchase of the iPads."

CMFT is currently looking to expand its 960-strong team of volunteers, who work a range of hours with the Trust.  Helping patients and visitors find their way around the site is one of the key roles for many of the Trust's volunteers.  Other roles include supporting patients in wards and clinics, and driving the patient eco-bus around the Central Manchester site linking with the main car parks

Anyone who is interested in volunteering either at the main Oxford Road site, the University Dental Hospital of Manchester or at Trafford General or Altrincham Hospitals should telephone 0161 276 5190 or e-mail. volunteer.services@cmft.nhs.uk.

Note to editors

The hospitals on the main Oxford Road site are Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Saint Mary's Hospital, and Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a leading provider of specialist healthcare services in Manchester, treating more than a million patients every year. Its seven specialist hospitals (Manchester Royal Infirmary, Saint Mary's Hospital, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, University Dental Hospital of Manchester, Trafford General and Altrincham Hospitals) and community services are home to hundreds of world class clinicians and academic staff committed to finding patients the best care and treatments.  For more information, go to www.cmft.nhs.uk.

During National Volunteers' Week, an information stand will be at Manchester Royal Infirmary and Trafford General and Altrincham Hospitals, and will also visit Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, to promote the range of activities that the volunteers in CMFT's hospitals provide and recruit additional volunteers.