Implementation of trained mealtime volunteers to help older hospital patients in a range of ward areas

Theme 2

Ageing and Dementia

Research aims and questions

Hospitals know many older people don’t eat enough - 39% of over 65s admitted to hospital are at risk of malnutrition. This leads to slower recovery and having to stay in hospital longer. There is evidence that volunteers can help but no guidance for Hospitals on how many volunteers they would need, where to find them, how to recruit them or how to keep them.  

Start date: 30/4/2014

End date: 28/02/2016



 • 65 volunteers aged between 17 -77 recruited and trained • Delivered 846 sessions of mealtime assistance to older patients in 4 separate hospital departments • 43% of volunteers were 6th form students and 17% retired people Comparative work against other similar schemes being undertaken to create information on what works and what doesn’t


Evidence based blueprint on:
• Numbers required to maintain an adequate volunteer workforce
• Likely turn over
• Best fit for volunteer profile with different ward areas
• Resources (people, time, economic) required by the host organisation to maintain this workforce
• How to retain volunteers

Working with AHSN make sure the blueprint gets to those who need it.

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