Published: Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

First Patient Peer role in Scotland for cardiothoracic patients


With a commitment to involving volunteers in the workplace, the Golden Jubilee Foundation has been celebrating these unique roles as part of Volunteers Week.


For 12 years, the Golden Jubilee has been leading the way in volunteering by providing support across the organisation including Spiritual Care, Meet and Greet, Sensory Care, Befriending, Quality Walkrounds and Housekeeping Audits.


Building on this, the Golden Jubilee is the first hospital in Scotland to offer Patient Peer support to cardiothoracic patients, pre or post surgery.


The Golden Jubilee’s new Patient Peers, Brian Gemmell and Andrew Nelson, both former patients at the hospital, share their personal experiences, and help guide current patients through their journey.


Under the guidance of the Cardiothoracic Rehab Nurses, the Patient Peers provide emotional support to patients while raising any patient concerns to a member of staff. They also share their ideas about the social activities patients can get involved in after undergoing surgery.


Brian Gemmell decided to become a volunteer at the Golden Jubilee shortly after receiving thoracic surgery for the removal of a lung which was necessary to treat his lung cancer.


He said: “I am extremely proud to be one of the first Patient Peers in Scotland dedicated to cardiothoracic patients.


“The Golden Jubilee has given me a new lease of life for which I will be forever grateful and I believe my experience here can be of real benefit to future patients.


“It can be a really stressful time for patients and their families before they undergo any type of surgery so offering emotional support as a Patient Peer will hopefully put our patients’ minds at rest before they go through this process.”


The Golden Jubilee today hosted its annual volunteering event to celebrate the contribution of its volunteers.  


Stewart MacKinnon, Interim Chair of the Golden Jubilee Foundation, said: “It has been a great honour to attend the Golden Jubilee’s annual volunteering event today as it is really important for me to be able to thank all the volunteers for the wonderful support they provide.


“All our volunteers play an important part in allowing us to deliver the best possible service for our patients. With the Golden Jubilee being a leader of Quality, Research and Innovation for the NHS in Scotland, it is clear that Patient Peers are a wonderful addition to our volunteer group and I am delighted to hear such positive feedback from both our consultants and patients.” 

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