Main telephone number:
020 8401 3000

Buddy scheme

The scheme provides vital support to those attending an out-patient hospital appointment  who require extra support. It works by linking a volunteer with a patient, who meets the patient at the hospital and then escorts them to their appointment. The volunteer will also offer help and practical advice.

The service has been designed to help elderly patients and those with disabilities or special needs (that is, people who have a learning disability, hearing and/or visual impairment, physical disability or mental health issue). It will also help any patient who is especially anxious about coming into hospital. Even if you are bringing a carer with you, you can still book a buddy to support you and your carer.

The Trust has several volunteers available and trained to be a buddy to people.

Frequently asked questions

What is the patient buddy scheme?

Attending an out-patient hospital appointment can be daunting experience, especially if you are on your own. The buddy scheme will link a volunteer with a patient. The volunteer will meet the patient at the hospital and escort them to their appointment. The volunteer will also be there to offer help and practical advice.

Who will benefit from the buddy scheme?

This service has been designed to help elderly patient and those with disabilities or special needs (that is, people who have a learning disability, hearing and/or visual impairment, physical disability or mental health issue). It will also help any patient who is especially anxious about coming into hospital. Even if you are bringing a carer with you, you can still book a buddy to support you and your carer.

How can I register for the scheme?

If you feel that you would like to be linked with a buddy, please contact Carol O’Reilly, Volunteer Services Manager, on 020 8401 3436.

A form can be completed over the phone or you can download a paper copy to complete and return to the Volunteers Service Manager.

What happens next?

Once you have registered, we will take details of the date of your hospital appointment. Please give us as much notice as possible to book a buddy. We will contact you with the name of your volunteer.

A volunteer will then be on hand to meet and escort you to your out-patient appointment at the hospital.

Please note that our aim is to provide a buddy for anyone who needs the service, although there may be times when this is not possible.

This scheme applies to patients attending an out-patient appointment at Croydon University Hospital only

Your questions and comments

If you have a problem when in hospital that the nurses and doctors are unable to resolve, you can contact the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) who will be happy to help you.

PALS offers assistance, advice and support for patients and their families. The service can help if you have concerns or worries about treatment or care. PALS may also be able to provide further information about tests and procedures. They also have a library of voluntary and support agencies. The PALS office is open to callers from 10am to 3.30pm, Monday to Friday; Telephone number: 020 8401 3210.

Just Live Well

Just Live Well is a 12 month integrated lifestyle service offering behaviour change support in the following topics; smoking, alcohol, physical activity, weight, diet and mental wellbeing. Please speak to your buddy to see if you would be eligible to receive the lifestyle support of the Just Live Well service https://www.croydonhealthservices.nhs.uk/services/Stop_Smoking/

Data Protection

During your visit you will be asked for some personal details. This is kept confidential and used to plan your care. It will only be used by staff who need to see it because they are involved in your care and we may send details to your GP. Information about you may be used for audit purposes and shared within the NHS. Your consent is required for this which you have a legal right to refuse. If you wish to exercise your legal right to have access to all information held about you by the Trust or you would like to talk to someone about Data Protection, please contact the Data Protection Officer on 020 8401 3475.

More information

You can download the Patient buddy scheme information leaflet here. If you would like this information in large print please email your name and address to the Volunteers Service Manager Jayne Spayne at Jane.spayne@nhs.net

Google Translate