NHS volunteer sustainability
Time needed: 5 minutes
How to make the NHS Volunteering programme sustainable.
- Firstly, make sure you thank your amazing volunteers!
Recognise volunteers to keep retention high: e.g. through thank you calls with staff, by letting them know how impactful their support was, or by finding new ways to involve the most motivated volunteers.
- Measure volunteer satisfaction.
Continue measuring volunteer satisfaction through regular surveys (e.g. every 3-6 months) and/or feedback calls.
- Monitor volunteer career progression
Above all, you must ensure that you help the volunteers to gain what they need from the programme. For example some may need to gain certain skills or understanding of how the NHS Works from a career perspective. We’re pleased to share that many have gone on to work in the NHS because of their experience as a volunteer, and others are considering this.
- Measure patient feedback
Always measure patient impact in order to assess the value of the volunteer project.
Be realistic about resources in the long-term – as you introduce new projects, it is important to re-assess how many hours are being invested by practice staff compared to volunteer hours.
- Finally, share learning.
Share learnings frequently with staff, volunteers and external partners, and subsequently set up reflection points a few times a year to look at data collected and see if any aspects of the ongoing projects need tweaking