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News & Media

Media Release

Date: 4 June 2019

Cheers to our RUH volunteers

Volunteers are being praised this week for the contribution they make every day to help patients, staff and visitors at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust.

There are more than 200 volunteers giving around 450 hours their time every week to a diverse range of more than 14 activities at the RUH.

These include meeting and providing reassurance to patients in the oncology department, being a companion at mealtimes on the wards, running the Friends of the RUH restaurant and shop, tending the RUH's gardens and flowerbeds, and offering a helping hand when patients and visitors first arrive at the hospital. The Trust also runs its Friendly Faces Project, where volunteers give their time to sit and chat with patients with dementia to help them feel more at ease while in hospital.

Trust Chief Executive James Scott said: "In this Volunteers Week we're proud to say thank you to our amazingly generous volunteers, and to recognise their invaluable work for the Trust and the benefits they bring to patient care. The time they give makes a real difference and is hugely appreciated."

Martin Fricker and his dog Fudge, who were voted Volunteers of the Year 2019 at the Trust's annual awards, are well-known at the RUH. They're part of the Pets as Therapy (PAT) team of animal volunteers who visit patients on the wards.

Martin said: "I started volunteering after visiting my mother, who was a patient in the RUH, and to my surprise a dog came onto the ward. I decided that's what I'd like to do, so, after completing the Pets for Therapy assessment, I was delighted when the RUH said they were very keen for Fudge to come in. We've been vising for four years now, hopefully bringing some enjoyment to patients and staff."

For more information on the volunteering opportunities available at the RUH go to:

Notes to Editor
  • The Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust provides acute treatment and care for a catchment population of around 500,000 people in Bath, and the surrounding towns and villages in North East Somerset and Western Wiltshire. The hospital provides healthcare to the population served by four Clinical Commissioning Groups: Bath & North East Somerset CCG, Wiltshire CCG, Somerset CCG and South Gloucestershire CCG.
  • The Trust has 759 beds and a comprehensive range of acute services including medicine and surgery, services for women and children, accident and emergency services, and diagnostic and clinical support services.
  • In 2015 The Royal United Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust acquired the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD) NHS Foundation Trust. The RNHRD treats patients from across the country offering services in rheumatology, chronic pain, chronic fatigue syndrome/ME, cancer related fatigue and fatigue linked to other long term conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
  • The RUH is changing - we have an exciting programme of redevelopment underway transforming our site and further improving the services we provide. The Trust is building a purpose built RNHRD and Therapies Centre and is now working towards a new Dyson Cancer Centre. For more details visit:

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