‘It’s great to work as a team’: Staff volunteer for Operation Wintergreen

He spends his days working on education programmes to train and enhance the knowledge of doctors working at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital.

But, this week, Danny Murphy-Pittock joined the army of volunteers who devoted part of their working day to work on wards and frontline departments facing winter pressures.

Operation Wintergreen was launched by Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust on Monday to reduce the pressure on both hospitals and ensure patients most in need of emergency care were seen as quickly as possible by staff.

Danny, who works in the trust’s medical education department, was sent to Ward 60, which cares for female surgical patients, to support staff.

He said: “It was my first time volunteering and it was a really good experience.

“I helped out with the paperwork on the ward, helped stock up the trolleys and went down to microbiology to deliver samples and pick up bottles.

“I then went round with the tea trolley and felt like I was actually contributing. I was supported and felt valued by the team on the ward. They made me feel really welcome and appreciated that I was giving up my time to be there.

“When the trust is experiencing difficulties, it is good to work as a team and support staff in other areas.”

Hundreds of staff are taking part in the eight-day initiative, including office and administrative workers who are volunteering on wards or working with porters and pharmacy teams.

Other staff are being redeployed from other areas such as theatres and outpatient clinics to improve the flow of patients through both hospitals.

Michelle Veitch, the trust’s deputy chief operating officer, said: “We are immensely grateful to the volunteers who have stepped forward to help the organisation cope with unprecedented levels of demand.

“We are beginning to see improvements in patient flow, with people spending less time waiting in our emergency department as we have been able to free up more beds around the hospital.

“We are also able to send patients to appropriate wards rather than where there is bed space, which means the patient will have a better hospital experience.”

Operation Wintergreen will run until 8am on Tuesday.