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P-163 New ways of working –psychological services and home visiting supported by volunteers
  1. Andrew Lowden and
  2. Anne Booth
  1. LOROS, Leicester, UK


Introduction In 2013–14 LOROS reviewed the role of volunteers in supporting families. The family support service had a small core of volunteers, focusing on bereavement support for families of those who’d died in the hospice and some home visiting. The Counselling and Psychological Support Services (C&PSS) had no volunteer presence delivering a limited service focusing on counselling or psychological support for patients and their families.

The ambition was to extend the reach of LOROS family and bereavement support services to the wider community, promoting equality of services for end of life care.

Aims To establish a larger community home visiting service and increase access to bereavement support through groups, both to be facilitated by trained volunteers.

Methods A recruitment drive for volunteers, a structured selection and interview process followed by a bespoke education and training programme in 2014, saw both C&PSS and Home Visiting ready to embark on the new initiatives in early 2015.

Results C&PPS now offer bereaved clients from across Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland access to Psychological Education Groups and Bereavement Support Groups, facilitated and supported by volunteers.

Home visiting provide one to one sessions with patients and families in the home, offering occupational therapy led interventions and respite support for families and carers.

Conclusion With these new services, LOROS has seen increased referrals with local stakeholders using us as a service of choice for care, particularly with more complex clinical and social dynamics.

Both C&PSS and Home Visiting want to recruit more volunteers, valuing their work and offering support for their continual professional development. LOROS services are constantly reviewed with feedback from clients and families, to ensure we meet best practice. LOROS’s values and behaviours are used as a measure from recruitment to delivery of care and are the bedrock of quality and service innovations.

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