Helpforce live chat: Bringing volunteers back on site safely

Tags: Webinar, Video

16th March 2021



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During this live chat, members of the Helpforce Network shared their latest updates on how their volunteering services were progressing and their plans to bring volunteers back on site.

We would like to thank the following people who stepped forward to share their updates during the session, they are:

  1. Alan Bigham - Programme Manager Volunteering at Healthcare Improvement Scotland
  2. Mandy Cleaver - Voluntary Services and Community Development Lead at Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust
  3. Jane Elliott - Project Officer, Voluntary Services Team at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  4. Gill Reynolds - Patient Experience Lead, Voluntary Services, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Here is the summary of the live chat:

  • Some Trusts are now allowed to bring volunteers back on wards, ensuring that each individual volunteer is thoroughly risk assessed
  • Ward staff are encouraged to carry out risk assessments with volunteers and inform volunteers if there are Covid-19 positive patients on wards
  • Volunteering teams need to work with the wards closely to identify the level of need for volunteers
  • It is important to let volunteers know that they can say no to going back on wards if they are not comfortable
  • Volunteer service managers are encouraged to undertake some volunteering activities on wards to understand the support that volunteers might need
  • Briefing discussions are provided to older volunteers so they understand the importance of wearing PPE
  • Some Trusts are offering non-patient facing roles to volunteers who are healthy and over 70 years old and are keen to come back
  • Some Trusts are trying to be creative in bringing back volunteers who are above 70 and healthy, such as allowing them to visit patients at home for befriending
  • Virtual roles are still going strong and include volunteer support to help patients to communicate with their friends and families via digital devices, or making follow up phone calls to patients who have been recently discharged.

Please watch the webinar recording for more detail.