United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust Clinical Teaching Fellow Dr Kishan Rees said: “We are looking for willing helpers to be volunteer patients to assist our medical students in becoming excellent doctors.
“Medical student education includes patient based teaching and examination workshops away from the hospital wards. In order to deliver this teaching we need more volunteer patients who are prepared to come to the medical education department at Lincoln County Hospital.
“Most of the teaching sessions last for a morning or an afternoon, in most cases we would only be asking for your help for a couple of hours at a time.”
The teaching sessions involve the medical student listening to and sometimes examining the volunteer patients. Examinations may include checking blood pressure and a patient’s pulse, listening to their chest/heart, examining eyes/ears, testing reflexes, joint examination and recording a patient’s medical history.
Patients will always be examined under the supervision of a qualified doctor.
Dr Rees added: “We need patients with a wide range of conditions and illnesses. Volunteer patient information remains strictly confidential at all times, the privacy and dignity of patients is always given top priority.”
69-year-old Albert Hemsley has been volunteering for nine years. He said: “If it wasn’t for the NHS I would not be alive today. This is my way of giving something back and saying thank you. It is really worthwhile and you know it helps the young doctors and will benefit patients.”
Alan Cook, 84, added: “I had a knee replacement 12 years ago and I was asked if I would like to be a volunteer patient. I immediately said yes, it is another way for me to show my thanks and appreciation. These junior doctors have been endowed with a gift to be able to make people better which is marvellous. I think if there is anything we can do to help them to be even better it is the least we can do.”
Each patient is well looked after, provided with refreshments and paid £20 each time they take part. Free parking will be arranged for patients or a taxi will be booked and paid for if required.
For more information or to register as a volunteer patient please email [email protected] or call 01522 573947 (Lincoln County Hospital) or 01205 445333 (Pilgrim Hospital, Boston).