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Volunteers “made the difference” at Wye Valley NHS Trust

Press release – July 31 2020



Wye Valley NHS Trust has paid tribute to the many volunteers who have “made the difference” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Across the Trust dozens of volunteers have faithfully given up their time daily and weekly to support medical staff. This has meant nurses and other clinical staff have been able to spend more time caring for patients.

It has also meant patients getting their medication on time – whether they were in a hospital bed or self-isolating or shielding at home.

Jane Ives, the Managing Director of the Trust, said this army of volunteers “made the difference” for both staff and patients and contributed hugely to the response to the outbreak in Herefordshire.

“There are simply too many volunteers to name them all. They’ve been amazing and have stepped in when we were under a great deal of pressure.

“They, alongside our staff, have been doing an amazing job to help the Trust provide the best care it can throughout the pandemic.”

In recent months many existing volunteers increased their hours and doubled up to provide extra cover on weekends as they supported the Trust’s reception area to help deliver patient belongings and messages to loved ones on wards, escorted patients around the hospital and helped distribute PPE around the Trust.

As a show of thanks, Jane met some of the volunteers and thanked them personally outside the County Hospital this week.

Among the volunteers were the Trust’s “Pharmy Army” which worked behind the scenes to ensure vulnerable and shielded patients received deliveries of medicines in a timely way.

The team of volunteers included the Severn Freewheelers (the local volunteer transport service which also provides Blood Bikes – which are looking for new riders), local volunteer drivers and local company TM Factors who between them made more than 700 journeys during the last four months.

Among the volunteers in the "Pharmy Army" was Richard Hammond of Top Gear fame. He was unable to attend the thank you event but sent the Trust a video to thank volunteers.

To view the video, follow THIS LINK.

During the outbreak the Trust’s pharmacy volunteers made more than 5,000 deliveries (covering an estimated 750 miles) from the hospital pharmacy to wards and departments across the County Hospital site.

“There’s no doubt that having these volunteers released nursing staff back to the wards to focus on patient care,” said Tony McConkey, the Trust’s clinical director of pharmacy.

“A number of our core group of volunteers were unable to continue in their role due to shielding, so we’re extremely grateful for the new volunteers we were able to welcome during the last four months.”


Pic caption:

Jane Ives and Tony McConkey, at the front with some of the volunteers who have supported the Trust during the coronavirus pandemic.

Notes to Editors WVT:

  • Wye Valley NHS Trust is a provider of health services across Herefordshire and beyond. The Trust exists to improve the wellbeing, independence and health of the people we serve.
  • By working closely with our partners, we can make good our promise to deliver a quality of care we would want for ourselves, our families and our friends.
  • With an estimated annual turnover of around £185 million, we employ around 3,000 staff. We aim to build new relationships between our staff, patients, service users and their carers with the wider community.

For further information please contact:

Fiona Gurney, communications officer, or John Burnett, Communication and Engagement Manager, Wye Valley NHS Trust: 01432 372928

Contact Details

John Burnett
Communication and engagement manager
Tel: 01432 372928

Amanda Millichip
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 372928

Fiona Gurney
Communications officer
Tel: 01432 372928


Postal address:

Wye Valley NHS Trust
The County Hospital
Trust Headquarters
Union Walk

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