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Marie Curie Companion Volunteers launch at Musgrove to provide end of life support to patients - 17 July 2014

Marie Curie Companion Volunteers launch at Musgrove to provide end of life support to patients - 17 July 2014

A group of new specially trained volunteers have begun working at Musgrove Park Hospital this week as part of a new project with Marie Curie.

The Marie Curie Companion volunteers will provide support to patients in the last days or hours of their life, as well as help support their families and carers, enhancing the end of life care currently provided throughout the hospital.

The partnership has been set up to help Musgrove Park Hospital better support its patients in the last few days of their lives. With an increasingly ageing population (many of who are frail and elderly) it can be hard for our staff to provide the level of support and care to patients and their families that it would like to at this crucial time.

That is why we have joined forces with Marie Curie Cancer Care to develop this pioneering service to enable companion volunteers to spend dedicated time with dying patients and their families, working closely with our hospital staff.

Director of Nursing and Governance Carol Dight said: “I am delighted that our companion volunteers are starting to provide additional dedicated support and guidance to our patients who are in the final stages of their life, as well as their families and carers.

“This can be a very stressful and worrying time for our patients and those close to them, so having a supporting, friendly face who can offer help and advice, as well as just being there to listen, can make a real difference. I am really excited to see the difference our volunteers will make.”

The Marie Curie Companions have been specially trained to enable them to provide people at Musgrove nearing the end of their life with appropriate emotional and practical support.

It is a pioneering project that is funded and piloted by Marie Curie in partnership with Musgrove Park Hospital.

Julia Bearne, Marie Curie Companions Service Manager, said: “It is obviously very early days, but we are very excited about this new project.  As the leading charity for terminally ill people and their families, Marie Curie is committed to supporting the NHS to improve how care is delivered in ways that best meet needs of people and their families, whether in the community, hospice or hospital.  We hope this new services further enhances the end of life care given at Musgrove Park Hospital.”