Volunteering for us
Volunteers play an important role in our Trust by providing non-clinical support to our healthcare professionals.
To volunteer you must be over 18 and live locally. We cover the boroughs of Merton, Sutton, Kingston, Richmond and Wandsworth and recruit people from a wide range of backgrounds.
People volunteer for lots of reasons:
- To support their local Mental Health NHS Trust
- to meet people and make new friends
- to learn or refresh their skills
How much time can I give?
Most volunteering roles are between three and six hours once per week. This can vary depending on the type of volunteering you choose.
What type of volunteering could I do?
We have a variety of roles including:
- Chaplaincy volunteering
- Meeter / Greeter volunteering escorting people round our site at Springfield Hospital, this is part of our service user volunteering programme
- PAT Dog/Cat if you have a registered PAT dog or cat we would love to hear from you
- Befriending sitting and chatting with our patients. This can be extremely rewarding to both the volunteer and patient.
- Buddying meeting up with patients out in the community for coffee, shopping etc in public areas
- A limited amount of admin / clerical and information and management and technology (IM andT) support volunteering, these are mainly reserved for our patient volunteering programme to help with work prep skills
Will volunteering cost me anything?
No, we will reimburse a reasonable amount of travelling expenses (against actual receipts) and provide subsidised lunch if you volunteer for more than six hours and over the lunch period.
How long can I volunteer?
Obviously, we want you to stay with us as long as possible but a minimum of six months is desirable. When you have completed six months or more, we are normally happy to provide a reference for you for future college courses or employment, if required.
How do I become a volunteer?
If you would like more information about volunteering please contact us
Tolworth Hospital Redevelopment
We are planning to develop new health facilities at the Tolworth hospital site. Tolworth Hospital will become a modern centre of excellence delivering expert mental health care.
Our facilities at Tolworth Hospital simply do not meet today's need. Existing buildings are mainly old, unsuitable and expensive to run which means we have less to spend on frontline services and jobs. Through our programme to invest an extra £160 million in better mental health services we now have an opportunity to create modern mental health inpatient services at Tolworth Hospital, which could be amongst the best in the country.
Investing in Tolworth Hospital
We want to ensure our patients receive the best possible care in the best facilities. Our new buildings at Tolworth Hospital will meet the latest standards for mental health care as suggested by the Care Quality Commission (the NHS regulator), providing excellent facilities for our patients and a good working environment for our staff.
The new hospital will require millions of pounds of investment but overall there will be a significant reduction in running costs and excellent clinical benefits for our patients. The majority of the funds for building our two new hospitals are being raised through selling land no longer required for our services.
Our aim is for our new hospitals to lead the way and become centres of excellent for mental health service provision.
- Updating the current, outdated buildings
- Improving ward layouts, creating a good environment for patients and staff
- Effective use of NHS resources in the long term future
- Providing care and accommodation of the very best standard
- Reducing running cost so more can be spent on frontline services and jobs
Based on current timelines, construction is expected to begin by 2018/2019.
Regular updates are provided through our e-newsletter which can be found in the key documents below. If you have further questions then please email email@example.com.
Springfield hospital history
Springfield has housed a mental health hospital from 1840. Until the 19th Century, few facilities were available for people who suffered from mental illness.
Many individuals wandered the streets or were looked after by their families. Standards in private 'asylums' and the few public hospitals that did exist were very low.
The Asylum Act of 1808 encouraged the building of public hospitals. In the 1830s, Surrey magistrates decided to establish a county asylum. Building began in 1838 on Springfield Park, originally the site of an 18th Century mansion.
The hospital opened on 15 June 1841 as the Surrey County Pauper Lunatic Asylum. It received 299 patients, transferred from various private pauper asylums across Surrey. In the beginning, the asylum coped with every sort of clinical problem; specialist facilities developed gradually over time. The cottage hospital opened in 1872, and an infirmary block and operating theatre followed in 1881.
In 1897 the annex (now the admission building) opened, admitting 20 mentally handicapped children. Patients with learning disabilities were also removed from the general wards. This was an ambitious move at the time. It enabled the asylum to develop an active approach to the education and training of those with learning disabilities.
The members of the asylum committee were often wealthy aristocrats who had altruistic motives and time to spare. The medical staff worked with few resources and little training as psychiatry was still in its infancy. There were no professional standards of knowledge or practice, and most doctors trained by apprenticeship.
Over the next 100 years, admission rates soared. Many were suffering the effects of poverty and alcoholism. And as more people moved away from agricultural life to city living, those with mental illness often became a burden their families could not support. In 1959, an act of parliament allowed the number of patients to be controlled and their needs matched to a specific type of treatment.
From the 1960s onwards, the number of inpatients began to fall. This reflected changes in treatment, and changes in attitudes towards mental health. Some large institutions that had provided long-term residential care for people with mental health problems closed.
Springfield University Hospital remained open, but implemented changes. Now, there are fewer inpatient beds and the majority of services are provided in outpatient or community settings.