Helpforce responds to NHS England plan to tackle the long emergency care delays

31st January 2023


Our response to NHS England plan, where it aims to tackle the long emergency care delay by investing £1 billion in increasing hospital beds and ambulance:

Mark Lever, Helpforce CEO, said:

"This plan is a much-needed step towards recovering our NHS, but it overlooks the huge potential of volunteers. Working closely alongside brilliant professional staff to bridge the gaps between hospital and community care, trained volunteers can ensure more personalised, effective and efficient services.

"Large numbers of people stand ready to volunteer to reduce the strain on hard-working staff and ensure that patient care is as effective as possible. The fact they aren’t being integrated into more aspects of health and care is a major missed opportunity. Volunteers were incredibly important in the pandemic response. Now we must look beyond the emergency response role of volunteers and embed them as part of our ongoing approach to high quality care.

We need Government, local authorities, health and care leaders and community organisations to work together to put in place properly managed volunteer initiatives. Only then will we unlock its huge power for people across the UK.

"Faced with long-term challenges requiring systemic change, a greater role for volunteers across health and care would be transformative. We cannot squander that huge potential."

30th Jan 2023