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NB: This vacancy closed to applications on 01/04/2020.

Volunteer Support Worker (COVID19)

Job Reference: 294-VOLUN-SW-COVID19

South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust

South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust has a rich history, well-established community links and an international reputation. We provide a full range of local mental health services to the Kingston, Merton, Richmond, Sutton and Wandsworth London boroughs, as well as specialist forensic mental health services, including high secure services, at Springfield Hospital.

We are committed to providing high quality integrated health and social care for local people with mental health problems in South West London and more specialist mental health services for people throughout the UK. The Care Quality Commission already rates our services as ‘good’ however we aim to be ‘outstanding’.

Our Values

We take pride in providing specialist care to our service users where our Trust values; being consistent, compassionate, collaborative, respectful and open is at the heart of everything we do. Our mission is "making life better together".

When you join us, you’ll be part of something special – an innovative and rapidly growing organisation that is helping to redefine the Mental Health, education and social care landscape in the UK.

About the role:

We are looking for Volunteer Support Workers to offer support to staff and patients on our inpatient wards, at this time of crisis and unprecedented pressure on the NHS. The Volunteer Support Worker role is based on inpatient wards at Springfield University Hospital (Tooting), Tolworth Hospital (Tolworth, Kingston) and/or Queen Mary’s Hospital (Roehampton). We are offering this role on a temporary basis and for an unknown period of time, on the basis of need. Training, support and supervision will be provided.

You will:

  1. Working within an inpatient ward setting at Springfield University Hospital (Tooting), Tolworth Hospital (Tolworth, Kingston) and/or Queen Mary’s Hospital (Roehampton).
  2. Offering support to patients – talking to, and interacting with patients to promote their wellbeing, recovery, safety and comfort on the ward.
  3. Interacting with patients in a positive, honest, open and non - judgmental way. Have the ability to inspire hope and a belief in recovery, with a non-stigmatising attitude and approach to people experiencing mental distress.
  4. Supporting patients to become or remain in contact with their family and friends.
  5. Encouraging patients to take part in ward based recreational activities. Organising and running ward based activities.
  6. Encouraging patients to get up in the morning and to go to bed at night. Encouraging and supporting patients to occupy themselves during the day.
  7. Encouraging patients to come for food at meal times and for medication. Offering support to serve meals, refreshments and snacks.
  8. Supporting patients to ensure they are drinking enough water and that they are eating healthily.
  9. Ensuring patients have the essential items they need e.g. toothpaste, soap, clean clothes.
  10. Observing people on the ward to help keep them safe. Escalating concerns by pressing the alarm or by alerting ward staff.
  11. Observing the ward environment to help keep people safe. Escalating health and safety issues with the ward environment to ward staff / housekeepers.
  12. Supporting the ward staff, housekeepers and patients with hygiene control. Encouraging patients to wash their hands regularly, to use and dispose of tissues and avoid touching their face.
  13. Follow guidelines on the wearing and disposal of personal protective equipment, as required.
  14. Answering the front door and supporting with visitor management, where appropriate and with support from ward staff.
  15. Respond promptly and positively to staff and patients’ requests for help and support within the agreed Volunteer Support Worker job role.
  16. Adherence to Trust’s policies and procedures.
  17. Undertaking training and supervision and support.


Training will be provided for all successful applicants including breakaway training, conflict resolution training and life support training.

About the teams:

You will be joining multi-disciplinary teams working within inpatient wards that are committed to the provision of highly quality service user centred care. Our teams are looking for compassionate, extraordinary volunteers that want to make an impact.

Additional information:

Volunteers will be able to shadow staff and / or volunteers on the wards initially before taking up their role.

When in role, the dedicated staff member supporting volunteers will establish with the volunteer what they feel comfortable in doing at the beginning of their shift.

If the ward environment becomes challenging or difficult, volunteers will be able to move to another space, while staff members respond to and manage the situation.

Volunteers will not take patients on escorted leave unless this has been risk assessed as being appropriate and where the volunteer feels able to do this.

The day(s) of the week and hours worked will be agreed so that they complement and fit with normal staff working practices i.e. so that volunteers are present during handover from staff on one shift, to staff on the next shift, and / or when the designated staff member supporting the volunteer is available to offer supervision and direction for the period of time the person is volunteering.

Normal staff shift patterns are: early shift 7am to 3pm, day shift 1pm to 9pm, night shift 8pm to 7.30am.

Travel expenses will be reimbursed and a subsistence payment offered for food and refreshments.

Covid 19

Applicants must be aware that they may be working in areas where the Covid 19 virus may be present and they will be expected to follow all Trust safety precautions and procedures with regard to infection control and the use and disposal of personal protective equipment. Please see job description for more information.

In the current climate applicants must be in good overall health, both physically and mentally. You may be at a particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with coronavirus if you:

  • have a severe chest condition, such as asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis
  • have another serious health condition, for example, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity
  • have had an organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressant medicine
  • have a weakened immune system
  • are having chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • are pregnant

In deciding whether this role is suitable, potential applicants must also consider the people within their household, or with whom they have close contact, that may be at increased risk, (as described above and people who are 70 years or over).

Interviews: interviews will take place every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Please note interviews will happen online via a FaceTime method which will be confirmed in your interview invite.

If you have any queries, or for more information, please contact: / 020 3513 5775

At South West London St Georges Mental Health Trust we are committed to providing services which embrace diversity and that promote equality of opportunity. We are a Disability Confident Employer, we welcome applications from all sections of the community and people of all protected characteristics. We are Members of Stonewall Diversity Champions and also a member of the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion.

As part of the Trust's commitment to Equalities and Diversity, the Trust supports the establishment of Staff Networks groups to promote diversity in the workplace:

  • BME (Evolve) Staff Network
  • Christian Staff Network
  • Disability Staff Network
  • Deaf Staff Network
  • Mental Health Staff Forum
  • Women's Staff Network
  • LGBTQAI+ Staff Network

We provide reasoble adjustments to the interview process for any candidates with a disability.

Please note:

  • That the closing date listed is a guide only and that the vacancy may close earlier should sufficient number of applicants have been received. We advise that you submit your application as early as possible
  • That once you have submitted your application you agree to your application being transferred to a 3rd party e-recruitment system
  • That should you not have heard from us within three weeks from the closing date your application has not successful.
  • That priority consideration for applications may be given to at-risk NHS employees
  • That should you be successful and appointed, you authorise South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust to confirm your previous NHS service via an Inter Authority Transfer (IAT) process
  • That your employment is offered subject to successful completion of a 3 or 6 months Probationary Period depending on your Band
  • That we are a smoke-free Trust

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