Gateshead patient returns as a volunteer

Gateshead volunteer returns as a volunteer after receiving treatment at the chemotherapy day unit at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Michael Loome, Volunteer
Michael Loome, volunteer

Gateshead volunteer returns as a volunteer after receiving treatment at the chemotherapy day unit at Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust.

Michael Loome first joined the Trust as a volunteer in 2011 after retiring. He started off working mainly in Outpatients but over the years it developed into other roles across the hospital including working on the wards and being involved with the recruitment of new volunteers.

In 2018, Michael became a public Governor but due to the shielding and treatment, he resigned due to not working within the hospital and looked to get back into volunteering.

Michael said “I was treated in the chemotherapy day unit from May to October 2021 and then my treatment continued in another form till May of this year.

“While being cared for I could see that there were a number of things I could do which in a small way would reduce their workload and now I am lucky enough to return to volunteer and be based within the chemo day unit.

“However, this wasn’t something I had ever considered until I was a patient.”

His role as a volunteer currently includes:

  • Taking blood samples to the Pathology lab when needed
  • Pick up medications from Pharmacy
  • Top up linen from stores
  • Fill the fluid cabinets from stores
  • Make drinks for patients throughout the day and assist with lunches

Michael goes on to say “I love my role as a volunteer and I am able to talk to patients when they want to talk, which isn’t a task for me as I have been in the same position as some of them.

“The role is currently being developed further as the chemo day unit sisters are looking at more ways I can help out in the department.

“Having a role like mine keeps me exercising and I really enjoy the chat with staff and patients.”

If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact Judith Curry, patient experience and volunteer manager. Email judith.curry@nhs.net or telephone 0191 445 2343.

Find out more about volunteering.