Updates following Virtual check-in sessions


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Created by Vy Tran - Last updated 7 days ago | Tags:
Virtual check-in

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10 December 2020 at 1:48pm


Hello everyone,

We thought it would be a good idea to share with you key topics that we cover in each of our virtual check-in sessions. Hopefully this will give you a quick update of what topics that volunteer leaders in health and care are focusing on.

If you would like to join the next session, please visit our Event page for more information.

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10 December 2020 at 2:19pm


Virtual check-in on 9th Dec 2020

We had 10 members who joined us for this session and we discussed the following points:

  • Some Trusts are still struggling to bring volunteers back and to get the support from seniors

  • Some Trusts are focusing on non patient facing roles only as they have some Covid cases on wards

  • Other Trusts are trying to re-introduce some of their community groups.

  • A member shared that she used i-reporter and is now able to check where Covid is on the wards and doesn't have to wait for someone else to tell her, helped with mobilising volunteers.

  • Quite a few Trusts are looking into which volunteer management systems to use (two forum threads here and here for anyone interested in volunteer management systems)

  • Uniforms for volunteers

  • Christmas: A trusts has had Christmas cards designed for their volunteers

Hope you found this useful! If you would like to join the next virtual check-in session to get updates, ask questions or ideas, please visit this page for more information.

18 December 2020 at 5:39pm

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Virtual check-in on 18th December 2020

We were joined today by 5 network members from four trusts around the country. The discussion focused on a few topics that are high priority for many trusts at the moment:

  • Vaccination hubs - Covid vaccination programmes are underway in some trusts and volunteers have been asked to help. One trust has requested 30 volunteers and has agreed that volunteers over 70 years can be included subject to risk assessments. Other trusts are expecting vaccinations to start soon.

  • Response volunteers - one trust on the call has been running this model for several months. Staff engagement was a challenge to begin with but the model is now very successful and response volunteers are being asked to help with marshalling for the vaccination hub. A neighbouring trust has been very supportive in helping to develop the response volunteer role.

  • Infection control - we had a discussion about the implications for response volunteers who need to move freely around hospital sites. One trust shared that they have provided enhanced infection control training and ask volunteers to sign in to every ward and department they visit. This helps to track contacts and manage risk. You can find the Institute of Occupational Safety & Health guidance on Covid-19 risk assessment here

As usual people were very willing to share their knowledge and experiences with each other and we are grateful to everyone for taking the time to join us.

Our next virtual check-ins will be on Weds 6 Jan and Fri 8 Jan so if you would like to come along, please visit our Events page on Connect where you will find the log-in details.

In the meantime have a safe and happy Christmas break and we look forward to seeing you in the New Year!

12 January 2021 at 2:32pm


Virtual check-in on 6th and 8th January 2021

Many thanks to 24 members who joined the two virtual check-in sessions last week! What lively conversations we had, focussing on:

  • Vaccine volunteers, including their role profiles

  • Collaborating with other organisations

  • Getting volunteers back on the wards due to staff sickness

In general, it seems that some Trusts are back to stepping down their volunteers, but some are still mobilising volunteers in clinical and non-clinical environments (One member working at a hospice shared that volunteers are still providing mealtime support on wards). A few Trusts have said that they are working with other volunteering organisations to share volunteers (such as Local Community Action Network. One Trust mentions that as a lot of their patients don't turn up for their vaccine appointments, they are thinking of asking volunteers to support those patients in using technology (as in booking their appointments online).

There were discussions about whether volunteers can receive vaccine. It appears that some Trusts are happy for frontline volunteers to receive vaccination, but some don't.

Looking ahead, volunteer managers feel that they struggle to get volunteers back on ward or have difficulties in recruiting new volunteers. @Mark Lever

16 June 2021 at 4:24pm


Hi all, for this afternoon's session, we had a lively conversation joined by many Trusts across England. The main theme that we talked about was how a majority of Trusts are not planning to bring clinical volunteers back anytime soon, due to the delay of Step 4. For now, the popular volunteer roles are meet and greet, admin, and active response volunteering.

Some highlights that we picked up from the conversation:

  • One Trust has managed to bring back the trolley service. This has been praised by in-patient volunteers as they can't get to the Trust's shop to get essentials.

  • One Trust has been able to run the Home Discharge service, where volunteers call patients from their homes to ask how patients are doing at home, whether they need extra support. All information will be logged in on the Trust's network, the Discharge team will then be able to access it. We hope that the Trust mentioned will be able to share with us more information on this service.

  • One Trust has managed to bring over 100 volunteers back, including volunteers with disabilities. Staff have been very positive as they say the volunteers have boosted up the morale with their positive spirit.

We hope this summary is helpful and if you would like to join the session, the next one will be on 18th June, 12- 12.30pm. Please visit our Event page for more information.

22 July 2021 at 12:40pm


Virtual check-in on 21st July 2021

Hi everyone, hope you are enjoying the sun and staying safe! We had a great session yesterday where members shared latest updates of how their volunteering services are doing. We notice that despite the lifting of all Covid rules, things are not back to normal at all, where some Trusts are still cautious about bringing volunteers back or letting them to undertake supporting roles in clinical environments. If things are different or similar at your organisation, please share your thoughts with us here.

The other thing that I picked up is that (although not new) that there is a sudden increase in the number of Covid admission, and it makes everyone think that we will be back to where we were a year ago. Maybe it's time to start planning how your services are going to adapt to the upcoming wave? Do let us know what your thoughts on this?

Next session will be on 3rd and 19th August, hope you can join us there. More information can be found here. https://helpforce.community/connect/events

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