Cheltenham man Bob Lloyd-Smith, who volunteers for the county’s independent health and social care champion, is urging others to join him as part of a recruitment drive.
Bob, who has worked in newspapers, radio and television before working with NHS England as a public/patient leader, volunteers for Healthwatch Gloucestershire and believes others should join the organisation’s volunteering programme.
60-year-old Bob (pictured left), who is also a governor at a primary school in Cheltenham, said: “ I see first-hand much of the remarkable care provided by the health professionals and their support staff but also get to hear directly from service users about the care they receive. To me, Healthwatch Gloucestershire offers a really user friendly and safe way of allowing those in need of health and social care in the county to say what they think of the service they receive.”
Healthwatch Gloucestershire, the county’s independent health and care champion, has launched the campaign to recruit more volunteers to help its small staff team gather feedback from the public. A wide variety of volunteering roles are on offer. People can visit health and care venues to speak to patients, staff and families about their experiences and also act as an ambassador for the organisation at local events and meetings.
Kay Bunyan, Volunteer Officer at Healthwatch Gloucestershire said: “Volunteers like Bob are at the heart of everything we do, from talking to people about their experiences of local health and care services, to sitting on the local steering group.
“Whatever your background, we are keen to hear from you if you think you could fill one of these roles. People can make a real difference to their communities and help to shape their local health and care services.”
All volunteers with Healthwatch Gloucestershire go through a full training and personal development programme. They are given a comprehensive volunteer handbook and welcome pack, as well as having access to an online volunteer portal with up to date policies and procedures. Out of pocket expenses are also reimbursed.