NHS70 award for Lister Hospital volunteers who support patients in final days

PUBLISHED: 15:03 04 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:15 04 July 2018

The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust's Butterfly Volunteers have won a national NHS70 award. Picture: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust's Butterfly Volunteers have won a national NHS70 award. Picture: East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

Archant

Volunteers who support patients and their families in their last days of life at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital have won a national award as part of the NHS 70th birthday celebrations.

The East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust’s Butterfly Volunteers, who are funded by the trust’s hospital charity, were today honoured as part of a one-off competition to mark the NHS’ 70th birthday, which is tomorrow.

With MPs across England asked to nominate individuals and teams serving their constituents across 10 categories in the NHS70 Parliamentary Awards, North East Herts’ representative Sir Oliver Heald nominated the Butterfly Volunteers in the Care and Compassion award.

NHS England Central Midlands medical director Dr Aly Rashid said: “They offer compassionate listening and companionship, particularly for those with few or no visitors. Their vision is that no-one has to die alone. And that is commendable.”

Butterfly service co-ordinator Angela Fenn, who received the award at Westminster, said: “Winning this award will have a tremendous impact on the future of this amazing service.

“It will not only allow us to go forward and expand, but ultimately help and advise other NHS trusts on how they can make a difference to their patients who find themselves alone at the end of their life.”

Royal College of Nursing chief executive Janet Davies, who presented the award, added: “The Butterfly Volunteers team exemplify the good things that can happen when volunteers, NHS charities and professionals work together, and it was a real privilege for me to part of recognising them here today.

“The last days of life can be an exceptionally difficult time for anyone, but particularly those who may not have someone there for them – so these volunteers perform an exceptionally valuable service, which I hope continues to flourish.”

A bereaved relative who wished to remain anonymous said: “Our whole family would like to express how thankful we are to have the Butterfly volunteers around during our mum’s last days.

“Knowing there was a Butterfly volunteer who would sit with mum when we were not able to be by her side bought us comfort.

“Coming into the room at the hospital and seeing a volunteer, reading poems, showed us just how much you all care about making sure our beautiful mum never felt alone at this sad time.”

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