Volunteer Discharge Buddy

Brighton and Hove
30 Jul 2018
13 Aug 2018
Contract Type

This is a community based role to support Martlets patients when they are discharged from the Hospice. Our buddies provide emotional and practical support to patients with the transition back home or into nursing care.  The role would suit someone with some clinical knowledge and/or experience.

Where: Initially with a patient at our Hospice and then within the homes of patients in and around Brighton, Hove, Portslade, Woodingdean, Rottingdean and Peacehaven.

When: Home visits are arranged to suit the needs of the patient and the availability of the volunteer. Visits are arranged between 9am-5pm Monday - Friday and comply with our Lone Working policy. There may be occasional visits outside of these hours with the agreement of the Discharge Coordinator.

Usual minimum commitment: Variable depending on each patient’s needs.

  • Initially approximately five hours over two to three days– prior to and on day of discharge
  • Up to three hours a week for the following two to five weeks
  • Attendance at monthly review and supervision

What you’ll be doing: Giving short term practical, and limited emotional support to patients who are being discharged from the inpatient unit. For example:

  • Home visits to ensure food and heating etc is in place before prior to discharge.
  • Helping them get safely through their front door
  • Unpacking their suitcase, in particular making sure their medication is easily accessible
  • Making a cup of tea, or assisting them to do this safely
  • Liaising with family, carers etc., informing them of arrival home
  • Listening to their concerns about care needs
  • Providing support to help them build confidence for daily living e.g. short shopping trips
  • Assisting those who are transferring to a nursing home - to help with unpacking and making their new room into their “home”.
  • Liaising with other health professionals such as GP or District Nurses.
  • Sitting with a patient for short periods (a couple of hours) when the family are busy.

Under the clinical leadership of the Discharge Coordinator, and initially working in pairs, specific duties will be identified according to individual need, and all arrangements will be discussed prior to implementation. You will:

  • Notify the Discharge Coordinator of any home visits
  • Contact the Hospice after a visit in line with the Lone Working Policy
  • Email a brief written record of each visit, which will be kept in a designated file at the Hospice

What’s in it for you:

  • Specialised training for the role
  • Individual guidance and support
  • Opportunity for ongoing development through regular supervision and regular training relevant to the role
  • Being part of a developing team with opportunities to contribute to the development of the service
  • Participating in a very worthwhile volunteering role
  • Reasonable out of pocket travel expenses

Your skills and abilities:

  • Good Inter personal skills – empathetic, good communicator, strong listener
  • Clinical or caring experience an advantage but not essential
  • Organised and practical
  • Good at managing expectations
  • Task focused
  • Ability to communicate with people at all levels including family members, GP's and district nurses


  • To attend Martlets Welcome Day and training for the role including: 
  • Palliative care - an introduction
  • Lone working
  • Maintaining professional boundaries
  • Adult Safeguarding awareness
  • Other training as required for the role
  • To attend monthly supervision meetings
  • To maintain strict patient confidentiality in accordance with Martlets guidelines
  • Due to the nature of this role, current driving licence is essential – Martlets can provide a car for this role.

Apply Now 

Contact: People Services Team on 01273 718788 or email peopleservices@martlets.org.uk

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