The Life of a Health Champion

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My role as a Health Champion, which supports the Making Every Contact Count Initiative began in March 2017. This is a new volunteering position working with the Occupational Therapists in HWL&H supporting patients preparing to leave hospital. I work with patients identified by the OTs as having low level concerns regarding health and well-being. I spend two hours a week sensitively discussing subjects that have been raised by the OTs such as social isolation, diet, weight  etc. and research services within the patients’ local community that are available to support them at home. I don’t advise patients but try to signpost and also provide them with a list of helpful phone numbers of organisations and services that can offer assistance. Following the conversations, I feed back the outcomes to the OTs. The most enjoyable aspect is locating a service that alleviates concerns or sharing laughs with a previously worried patient. My role also involves working with dementia patients to stimulate their memories.

My reason for wanting to volunteer was to put something back into the community. I had the experience of my mother being in hospital and I think it’s really important for patients to have contact with volunteers who have the time to sit and have general chats and conversations outside of their treatment.

"We are so lucky to have the support of Jasmine here at Lewes Intermediate Care Unit, we value her input and the time she spends with each patient and the feedback from the patients has been really positive. We are currently hoping to introduce the role in Crowborough and Uckfield inpatients units".
Kat Torbell - Occupational Therapy Team Leader