Volunteer Now - Health and Social Care

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Health and Social Care

Volunteer Now has a keen interest in supporting volunteering in the statutory health and social care setting with many examples of services being provided or enhanced by the involvement of volunteers and the most recent research showing that almost 16,000 people are involved in volunteering in a statutory Health and Social Care setting in Northern Ireland.

Please click here to view the "It's all about time - Volunteering in the Public Sector 2007 Summary Report"

Transforming Your Care- What does this mean for volunteering?

During the recent Volunteer Policy Forum session, representatives from the Health and Social Care Board provided an over view of the proposed changes to how Health and Social Care Services will be delivered in the future. This was an opportunity for volunteer involving organisations to come together and consider what these changes may mean for volunteering.

Some of the changes that are proposed for the system going forward is a shift to more care in the community i.e.  providing more support to enable people to live at home for longer and encouraging independence and rehabilitation. The Voluntary and Community Sector have a great track record of doing this- for example through volunteer befriending, volunteer driving, transport buddying and a wide range of health and well being programmes.

The Board members emphasised that they want to engage with the Voluntary and Community Sector as early as possible in the design of the system, to work collaboratively with the sector and to support capacity building within it. There was also recognition of the challenges and opportunities for the Voluntary and Community Sector with respect to procurement, funding, building capacity and skills and regulation & quality.

During the session members were asked to discuss a number of key questions relevant to volunteering and which it was important for the Board representatives to hear.

  1. In what way(s) do you see volunteer involving organisations contributing to the health and social care system going forward? a. What are the opportunities? b. What are the challenges?
  2. Specifically, what volunteer roles can bring added value to the Health and Social System going forward? a. Increase in existing roles? What would these be? b. Development of new roles? What would these be?

Some of the key messages coming from the groups were:-

  • There is a need to learn from existing partnerships between the public and voluntary and community sector, to help develop effective partnership working going forward. Develop forums where models can be informed and developed.
  • The need for meaningful volunteering opportunities which will attract people and offer the best support for users.
  • Need to ensure that volunteer roles are appropriate and used to enhance and add value to statutory services.  And furthermore that existing volunteering services are not displaced with paid workers where they are offering the best service for users.
  • The opportunity for the extension of befriending and volunteer driving schemes and the Sector carrying out more early intervention and preventative work.
  • The need for adequate resources for volunteer involving organisations to cover volunteer costs i.e. training, management, out of pocket expenses etc.

The consultation period is now closed, click here to view Volunteer Now’s final response.

We will keep you updated on the outcomes of  TYC.


Volunteering in Health and Social Care Forum

Volunteer Now plays an active role on the Volunteer Managers in Health and Social Care Forum which aims to proactively lead on and facilitate initiatives to improve the involvement of volunteers in Health and Social Service Trusts across Northern Ireland.

For more information on the Forum please click here for Terms of Reference, current membership can be found here.

Hungry for Volunteers Conference, Manor House Hotel, 22nd March 2012

This event was held on 22nd March in partnership with CAWT and the Health Service Volunteer Managers Forum.

Download a copy of the Hungry for Volunteers Conference Report here.

Volunteering in Health and Social Care

Volunteer Now has convened a number of workshops to start looking at these issues. For more information on the progress of this work- contact Denise Hayward on 02890 200854 or email Denise.Hayward@volunteernow.co.uk