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Volunteers from Slough Samaritans have begun working alongside doctors and nurses in Wexham Park Hospital’s emergency department (ED) to offer support to patients and staff.

The Samaritan volunteers are on hand fortnightly on Monday evenings to provide emotional support and comfort to anyone who needs it. They also offer ongoing support and contact for individuals who need further help.

A similar service has been running at Frimley Health’s emergency department at Frimley Park Hospital near Camberley for five years and has been really well received.

Cheryl Meineke, matron for the emergency department at Frimley Park and lead for the Samaritans’ service at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “I believe the service offered by the Samaritans is a fantastic support for both patients and staff and am delighted that we have been able to benefit from it for the past five years at Frimley.

“Having a friendly face on hand and people who are experienced at sitting down and really listening benefits everyone in this high intensity environment.

“Our staff are trained to care for the whole patient, not just their physical injury or illness, but the presence of the Samaritans volunteers adds an extra dimension to patient care – it is very reassuring and allows staff to focus on their clinical roles better.”

Davina Singh, deputy director for outreach at Samaritans of Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead, added: “I am sure this partnership will prove invaluable, just like it is at Frimley. We are all very excited about this extension to our services.

“We are glad to be able to provide confidential emotional support to anyone who needs it, especially in our local community, and look forward to working with the staff at Wexham Park.”

Farnborough Samaritans and ED staff at Frimley Park Hospital held a celebration to mark the fifth anniversary of the service at the Frimley hospital on Monday this week.

To contact Samaritans call free on 116 123 from a landline or mobile, or visit www.samaritans.org to find your nearest branch.