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Praise for time-saving West Suffolk Hospital volunteer team

A group of volunteers at West Suffolk Hospital are estimated to have saved staff more than 700 hours over 13 months, according to data.

The 29 ‘bleep’ volunteers run errands across the Bury St Edmunds hospital site – with each carrying a phone so staff can contact them.

Figures compiled by Helpforce on the amount of times the team has collected and delivered medicine from the hospital pharmacy to patients revealed they saved staff more than 54 hours after making 450 trips per month between September 2018 to 2019.

Val Dutton, voluntary services manager at West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This data is testament to the dedication of our fabulous bleep volunteers – their hard work supported our staff over a particularly busy winter period last year, and the impact they have had cannot be underestimated – we know they will do the same this winter to help us.”

The bleep volunteers, who started at the hospital in November 2015, also collect and deliver patient meals, push patients in wheelchairs to a clinic or ward and even run errands for patients.