Keeping patients active

Playing games is part of the job for the 10 new activity coordinators who help keep patients moving and talking while they are being cared for by Hampshire Hospitals.

Thursday 12 March 2015


activity CoordinatorHampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has recruited 10 activity specialists across its three hospitals: Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital, Royal Hampshire County Hospital and Andover War Memorial Hospital.

Working mostly with elderly patients, and patients with long term conditions, the activity coordinators help stimulate patients both mentally and physically through activities such as jigsaw puzzles, bingo, crafts and even looking back at old photos. 

Activity Coordinator, Dee Gemmell, said:  “Sometimes our patients just want to talk; others enjoy doing a puzzle or joining in a group activity.  Some of our patients can lose their confidence and independence if they are in hospital for a while.  We know that keeping patients stimulated and active helps them feel better and feel more confident about returning home. 

“Sometimes we find a manicure or a bit of a pamper can give a big boost to a patient’s  confidence and self-esteem, which in turn helps them get better more quickly.”

The activities staff come from clinical backgrounds and all are specially trained on the Health Care Assistant course.

Dee says: “I have worked at Basingstoke hospital for 12 years.  I started as a Health Care Assistant on the Gastro ward, then in 2011 I became housekeeper before becoming an activity coordinator. 

“I love my new role for loads of reasons: I like helping people, making them smile, and to feel good about themselves.  I love making crafts with patients and I also love having a chat and hearing patients tell me stories of days gone by.  We have coffee mornings and I feel that I make a difference to their days, making their stay easier and more enjoyable. Who wouldn’t love it?”

The Activities Coordinators are looking for donations such as jigsaw puzzles, books, photos/household items from the 1930s, portable cd players and TVs and old DVDs and puzzle magazines.  Please drop-off donations at the reception at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital; Royal Hampshire County Hospital front reception; or Andover War Memorial Hospital’s outpatient’s reception.

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