Putting patients first

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

For five years, Pam Redcliffe has been among the hard-working volunteers at Wantirna Health’s Supportive and Palliative Care Ward.

As Volunteer Team Leader for the ward, her role includes heading up a team of more than 20 volunteers. She alone, dedicates around 70 to 80 hours of her time each month to the ward.

Speaking in the lead-up to Palliative Care Week (May 21-28), Pam said the great thing about being a volunteer is being able to help another person – be it a patient, relative or staff member. She says there is something special about creating some smiles or laughter.

“Volunteers like me often receive more than they give. It might be a smile, a hug or a look of relief. It might be an invitation to stay a while because they like your company or a request for some help because they are comfortable asking you,” Pam said.

Eastern Health Director of Supportive and Palliative Care Dr Margaret Bird said Palliative Care Week was a great opportunity to acknowledge the amazing staff and volunteers at the Supportive and Palliative Care Ward.

“Patients admitted to our Supportive and Palliative Care Ward come to us at a time which can be challenging for them and their families. The role of our hard working staff and dedicated volunteers is to offer compassion, care and support.”

Dr Bird said Eastern Health placed great value in providing patients with a high level of care where they are treated with dignity and respect.

“It is about ensuring our patients are as comfortable when facing the challenges of life limiting illnesses especially in the final stages. Our staff and volunteers are extremely proud of the role they can play in giving patients an opportunity to celebrate their lives with their family and loved ones.”

Pam recommended volunteering to everyone. “We all have different talents to offer and when you put us together we become a terrific team. I’m an ordinary person doing what I love. I’m blessed that Eastern Health has given me this opportunity.”

To find out more about volunteering, call 9895 4658 or email