WHILE most patients are relieved to be discharged from hospital, this man cannot seem to stay away.
Rashid Mia, of Bramley Road, Ealing, suffered a minor stroke a few years ago, spending four nights at St Mary's Hospital, in Praed Street, Paddington.
The 70-year-old then decided he wanted to give something back to the doctors and nurses who had looked after him so well.
For almost two years he has given up four evenings a week to spend time in the hospital's intensive care unit.
He carries out patient surveys, asking them about their treatment, as well as welcoming and offering support to their families.
In recognition of his efforts, Mr Mia was given an outstanding care and research award in the chairman's category, which is specifically for volunteers, by Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, which runs the hospital.
He said: "The intensive care unit is a very traumatic part of the hospital, because the patients are very ill, and the visitors are very stressed.
"After I suffered my stroke, I thought the easy option would be to send the hospital a donation to say thank you for looking after me, but I decided it would mean more if I gave up some of my time.
"My treatment was absolutely gold star.
"I think I've made a great difference in the time I've been there, and families still write to me and send Christmas cards thanking me.
"I just hope this takes a bit of the burden off the nurses, and it's nice to know that people appreciate what you're doing."
A retired former fashion company manager, Mr Mia hopes to continue with his voluntary work for several years to come.
Mr Mia added: "If you can do something to help, you should do it, even if you can only give up 10 minutes of your time."