Social connection and support for vulnerable patients

At The Wesley Hospital, our compassionate and highly trained volunteers provide social connection and support to patients who may be far from home, away from support networks, experiencing a long hospital stay, or approaching the final stages of their life.

Vulnerable In-Patient Service

Our Vulnerable In-Patient (VIP) Service offers social engagement to patients to complement our high-quality clinical care.

Supported by our pastoral care and our multidisciplinary clinical care teams, the VIP Service connects trained volunteers with vulnerable patients to enjoy some social time together. Vulnerable patients might include people who:

  • Are experiencing a long hospital stay.
  • Are a long way from home and support networks.
  • Have impaired mobility.
  • Have a cognitive impairment.

Volunteers are supported to engage with patients in the ward, with activities tailored to each person, such as:

  • A chat over a cup of tea.
  • A walk in the gardens.
  • Doing a jigsaw puzzle.
  • Playing a boardgame.
  • Sharing a meal together.

End of Life Compassionate Companion

Our End of Life Compassionate Companions are highly trained volunteers who provide a calm and affirming presence for patients who may otherwise die alone.

No one is born alone and, in the best of circumstances, no one needs to die alone. Yet from time to time, some patients may find themselves approaching the end of life with no support network nearby, or they may have family and friends who are in desperate need of respite.

Our volunteers provide an opportunity to honour life with dignity and respect and their calm, reassuring presence makes a significant difference for patients.

The End of Life Compassionate Companion Service is available for patients on a comfort care pathway who are expected to die within 48 to 72 hours and do not have family or friends to accompany them during this time.

We have a roster of volunteers who can be stood up at short notice to provide bedside companionship and support 24 hours a day to ensure a patient is not alone when they pass.


If you believe you or your loved one would benefit from the Vulnerable In-Patient or End of Life Compassionate Companions, please speak with your nurse or care manager on the ward and they can place a referral. 

For more information about our Compassionate Companion services, or to volunteer, please contact Chaplain Leanne Duncan.

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