Volunteer of the year
Individual or Team Nomination?
In these challenging times, nominators were asked to show how the nominee had demonstrated the following qualities:
- Exceptional work ethic - going above and beyond their job description, especially in the past 12 months.
- Outstanding achievement/s in work or outside of the organisation where relevant.
- Drive for innovation and proactive leadership in these challenging times.
- High level of interpersonal skills, such as kindness, empathy, loyalty and thoughtfulness to staff and patients.
- A resilience considering Covid to their role and to the health and wellbeing of their colleagues.
Nominee's story :
Fiona Lamb is the trusts Armed Forces Veteran Lead. Her role as the Armed Forces Veteran Lead is an additional role to her permanent job and everything she does to Support the Armed Forces Community, is completely voluntary and all in her own time. She is dedicated and hardworking and even though she works permanent night shifts in her normal role she uses every spare moment of her time off to help support the Armed Forces Community presenting as patients across the 5 Hospitals in the trust.
She has dedicated hundreds and hundreds of hours in the past 12 month to oversee the Veteran Support project and to provide non-clinical support to the Armed Forces Community. This support includes helping those that need help with Housing, financial support, & Mental Health support and those that find themselves homeless and in difficult circumstances. Fiona has helped facilitate earlier discharges for some patients by reaching out to local veteran charities to commission work men to put in place a handrail or to provide a wheelchair. Unfortunately, those patients were on a waiting list for the work to be done so couldn’t be discharged. These simple connections help the Trust reduce admission times for the Armed Forces Community patients awaiting those home improvements. Not only does she support the patients in hospital but also visits local veteran support groups to promote to the veterans the services that are available if they were to attend the hospital.
The unfortunate death of the veteran raised awareness that there was no support for the Armed Forces Community within the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust. Fiona felt that this group of patients were currently undervalued, and no recognition of their service was in place. After researching the trusts status in the Armed Forces Covenant and auditing the staff it was clear, to Fiona, that the trusts motto of Safe Personal & Effective care did not incorporate the Armed Forces Community.
Fiona has singled handily, and all in her own time, set up a new robust and much needed support service for the Armed Forces Community. This initiative was original and unique as no service was in place prior the commencement of this service. Up until this point there was no official Armed Forces Veteran service within the whole of the NHS. Its very clear that Fiona is passionate about supporting those that served and their families. This is shown by the commitment, dedication, and passion she puts into this voluntary role. She has also been instrumental in organising Armed Forces Day and Remembrance Services at the hospital.
It quickly became clear, to Fiona, that the number of patients requiring support was greater than one member of staff could sustain. She made an application to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust for funding to employ an advocate to help support veteran patients. Over 1600 Veterans have now been seen and supported by the Veteran Team in the last 12 months.