Step Up volunteer services in the NHS
How can our volunteer services help your hospital?
The pressure on NHS hospitals never lets up. With resources stretched, Trusts and Health Boards are exploring new ways volunteers can support staff and help improve patient experience.
But with funding scarce, resource for growing and maintaining excellent volunteer programmes can be hard to find. Royal Voluntary Service is here to support you. Our ‘Step Up’ programme
provides hospitals with the volunteer-powered services you need
and the funds to sustain them.
"We do everything we can to care for those who come into our emergency department and volunteers from Royal Voluntary Service enhance that service by chatting to patients, offering reassurance and company and practical help where needed. They are an important and valued part of our team."
David Monk, A&E Operations Manager at Addenbrooke’s Hospital
Volunteering in hospitals is rising to the top of the agenda
The potential for volunteering in the NHS is in the spotlight across Great Britain. In England, the NHS Long Term Plan includes a goal to double volunteer numbers in three years.
With volunteers on hand, patients feel less anxious, outcomes improve and staff appreciate the load off their shoulders. For example, our own discharge to home programme supporting older patients in Leicester, has reduced readmissions to hospital by a third.*
Our partnership with Helpforce is aligned with its ambition to better integrate volunteering into the fabric of the NHS: creating defined roles for trained volunteers, making them part of the planning process, supporting pilot schemes and sharing learnings.
Never replacing medical staff but easing pressure on them and improving the patient experience, the partnership will help develop innovative roles and grow the evidence base around volunteering.
Already a key strategic partner of other organisations such as Alzheimer’s Society, we can also work with other partners to arrive at the best outcome for you.
A unique and sustainable volunteer offer from Royal Voluntary Service
So how can we fund your volunteering?
Our iconic cafés, shops and trolley services already play a vital role serving patients, staff and visitors
but we are now working with hospitals to use the money they raise to run a range of patient support services, from On Ward help to discharge assistance. This is possible because we are a non-profit making charity whose aim is to grow volunteering in the NHS and in the Community
Volunteer services that are built to last
Examples of Trusts and Health Boards already funding patient support in this way include:
|Hospital Trust/Health Board
||Volunteer service funded
|University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHSFT
|Shop, Café, Tea Bar and Trolley
|On Ward service and On Ward dementia service including strength and balance
Find out more
|Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board
|Large Café/Shop and
|Guiding & reception, On Ward services and Discharge lounge
||Café, Shop, Trolleys and Pop-up shop
|On Ward service and Discharge service
*Figures correct at the time of the study. An assessment by Oxford University of our Leicester service identified that we reduced admissions by over a third.
Royal Voluntary Service volunteers are trained, reliable and fully supported by staff who manage the services that are carefully designed to drive the specific outcomes the NHS want to achieve.
Royal Voluntary Service works in a unique way in partnership with NHS Trusts and Health Boards.
Step Up’ is being led by Sam Ward, our Director of Commissioned Services/Deputy Chief Executive. For more information about partnership working, get in touch below:
Get in touch
Royal Voluntary Service supporting the NHS
Print this page or download a copy of Step Up - High impact volunteering throughout the patient journey, with funding built in.
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