NHS Fife acknowledges and agrees with the importance of regular and timely review of policy/procedure statements and aims to review policies within the timescales set out.
New policies/procedures will be subject to a review date of no more than 1 year from the date of first issue.
Reviewed policies/procedures will have a review date set that is relevant to the content (advised by the author) but will be no longer than 3 years.
If a policy/procedure is past its review date then the content will remain extant until such time as the policy/procedure review is complete and the new version published, or there are national policies or legislative changes.
“Volunteering is the giving of time and energy through a third party, which can bring measurable benefits to the volunteer, individual beneficiaries, groups/organisations, communities, environment and society at large. It is a choice undertaken of one’s own free will and is not motivated primarily by financial gain or for wage or salary”. Scottish Executive Volunteering Strategy (2004)
The achievement of the goals of the organisation is best served by the active participation of members of the community. NHS Fife accepts and encourages the involvement of volunteers at all levels in the organisation and within all appropriate activities. NHS Fife expects that each Director of an operational unit will ensure they have in place appropriate and effective arrangements to implement and monitor this policy.
1.1 The Volunteering Policy is:
• To formally acknowledge and support the role of volunteers.
• To set out the principles governing the involvement of volunteers and provide a set of procedures to ensure good working practice.
• To define the roles, rights and responsibilities of the organisation and of its volunteers.
• To encourage and enable, rather than limit, the involvement of volunteers from socially diverse backgrounds.
1.2 NHS Fife recognises, values and supports the important part volunteers play in the life and work of the Board and the wider community. The achievement of the goals of the organisation is best served by the active participation of members of the community.
1.3 NHS Fife accepts and encourages the involvement of volunteers at all levels in the organisation and within all appropriate activities.
1.4 NHS Fife expects that each Director of an operational unit will ensure they have in place appropriate and effective arrangements to implement and monitor this policy.
1.5 The Volunteering Policy and accompanying procedures are intended primarily for use by NHS Fife employees and volunteers.
1.6 A commitment to the principles contained in it would also be expected from voluntary organisations whose volunteers provide help within NHS Fife. NHS Fife Board respects the independence of these voluntary organisations and recognises that they are responsible for the management of volunteers working on specific projects.
2.1 The policy is applicable to all services, departments, corporate services based in acute or community settings, and functional departments across NHS Fife and Fife Health & Social Care Partnership (H&SCP).
3.1 All NHS Fife has access to the policy.
3.2 NHS Fife expects that each Director of an operational unit will ensure they have in place appropriate and effective arrangements to implement and monitor this policy.
3.3 It is the responsibility of the Executive Lead for Volunteering to ensure that volunteering services are aligned with NHS Fife’s strategies and championed at Board level. They are also responsible for providing ongoing support and direction to the Strategic Lead for Volunteering.
3.4 It is the responsibility of the Strategic Lead for Volunteering to set the strategic direction for volunteering within NHS Fife, in line with national policy and best practice, and oversee the operational delivery of NHS Fife volunteering services.
3.5 The Volunteer Leads, within each area or service i.e. those who are responsible for operationalising their respective volunteering services; work to a decentralised model of volunteer management. One which supports both volunteers and local area contacts in the delivery of volunteer roles.
4. POLICY CONTEXT
Involving Volunteers in NHS Fife
4.1 Definition of Volunteer:
A volunteer is: “A person who gives freely and willingly of their time to help improve the health and wellbeing of patients, carers and users of Scotland’s NHS.” (Strategy for volunteering in the NHS in Scotland CEL 10 (2008)
4.2 The United Nations recognises four types of volunteering and each type can be evidenced in the NHS in Scotland. These are:
• Service giving
• Mutual support
• Influencing and advocating on behalf of others
• Participation in decision making
4.3 “Volunteering for all, our national framework” sets out 6 principles to be applied to volunteering activities;
1. Flexible and responsive
2. Supported and enabled
3. Sociable and connected
5. Meaningful and purposeful
6. Recognise diversity
5. THE PURPOSE AND VALUE OF VOLUNTEERING
5.1 There are many benefits of volunteering to the organisation; to the patient; to the individual volunteer; and also to the wider community.
5.2 NHS Fife acknowledges and values the long history of volunteer involvement in health. Whilst volunteering has traditionally been concentrated in hospital settings, there has been a significant shift to extend volunteering opportunities within local communities that would contribute to:
• the regeneration of deprived areas.
• the strengthening of social networks, enhancing involvement in community life and civic activities, building trust in local areas and in society at large and producing and rebuilding a resource that is often referred to as “social capital”.
• creating the conditions for health improvement. It therefore has a key role in contributing to NHS Fife’s primary purpose which is “to deliver effective and high quality health services, to act to improve the health of our population and to do everything we can to address the wider social determinants of health which cause health inequalities”.
5.3 The scope for volunteer involvement is wide and includes work carried out by volunteers both on Board premises and in the community.
5.4 The impact of volunteering on volunteers themselves also contributes to public policy objectives.
5.5 Volunteering can contribute to raising an individual’s self-esteem and self-confidence, provide a route into employment, education or training, and is particularly beneficial in developing softer skills, such as teamwork and communication. It can help those who are experiencing difficulties in their lives such as addiction, homelessness, and mental health problems to get back on their feet and become fully integrated into communities.
5.6 Volunteers can also contribute to the development of social capital, and in so doing help support the Board in creating a Scotland which cares for its people, and where opportunities are increased for everyone.
5.7 However, the greatest benefit of volunteering should be to the individual volunteer. There is a range of health benefits of volunteering, particularly to their mental health and wellbeing. It increases self-confidence, develops and renews skills and also provides a sense of belonging. Therefore, NHS Fife and the H&SCP strive to provide a high quality volunteering experience.
5.8 All volunteering opportunities ensure our volunteers are representative of diverse communities.
6. OPERATIONAL SYSTEM
6.1 Volunteering is well established in NHS Fife with a Volunteering Policy. All volunteers need to undergo the same recruitment and selection procedure outlined in this document regardless of whether they intend their volunteering to be fixed term or ongoing.
6.2 NHS Fife ensures all volunteers are treated fairly and consistently and have access to appropriate support and assistance.
6.3 NHS Fife creates a culture that values and celebrates volunteers and the benefit it has on patients, families and staff.
6.4 Volunteering is supported by Volunteer Leads Coordinators.
6.5 NHS Fife values and supports the important part volunteers play in the life and work of the Board and the wider community.
6.6 NHS Fife’s Executive Lead for volunteering is the Board Nurse Director.
6.7 NHS Fife is committed to meeting the requirements of the 9 indicators of national volunteering standards;
• There is an expressed commitment to the involvement of volunteers, and recognition throughout the organisation that volunteering is a two-way process which benefits volunteers and the organisation.
• The organisation commits appropriate resources to working with all volunteers, such as money, management, staff time and materials.
• The organisation is open to involving volunteers who reflect the diversity of the local community and actively seeks to do this in accordance with its stated aims.
• The organisation develops appropriate roles for volunteers in line with its aims and objectives, which are of value to the volunteers.
• The organisation is committed to ensuring that, as far as possible, volunteers are protected from physical, financial and emotional harm arising from volunteering.
• The organisation is committed to using fair, efficient and consistent recruitment procedures for all potential volunteers.
• Clear procedures are put into place for introducing new volunteers to their role, the organisation, its work, policies, practices and relevant personnel.
• The organisation takes account of the varying support and supervision needs of volunteers.
• The whole organisation is aware of the need to give volunteers recognition.
• NHS Fife and the H&SCP recognises that individuals may want to volunteer with our organisation in different ways. Volunteers may stay with the organisation for a prolonged period of time or may only want to be involved in a time limited opportunity. It is important that the volunteering is flexible enough to allow this to happen.
7. RESOURCING VOLUNTEERING IN NHS FIFE AND H&SCP
7.1 As detailed below:
• No volunteer should be financially disadvantaged by contributing their time to NHS Fife and the H&SCP.
• NHS Fife and the H&SCP will lay out the provision for reimbursement of out of pocket expenses for volunteers as part of a separate policy which will be reviewed annually and is detailed in the relevant procedure.
• NHS Fife and the H&SCP will resource the costs of volunteering such as promoting recruitment, training and support.
• NHS Fife and the H&SCP recognise that the development of a high quality volunteer programme requires investment of both staff time and at times financial resources.
8. RELATIONSHIP WITH THIRD SECTOR ORGANISATIONS
8.1 NHS Fife and the H&SCP maintains relationships and develops partnerships with the third sector encompassing:
• Local, national and Third sector organisations, e.g. charities, community groups, faith groups.
• Partnerships with Third sector organisations e.g. Fife Voluntary Action.
• Social Enterprise.
8.2 NHS Fife recognises that voluntary organisations providing a service (such as RVS, Hospital Radio) are independent organisations with their own identities and values. Individuals who volunteer with these organisations will be subject to the same level of scrutiny so as to adopt similar standards to NHS Fife in the recruitment and selection of volunteers.
8.3 NHS Fife and the H&SCP value their relationship with the local Third sector interface (Fife Voluntary Action) who have a role in not only signposting volunteers to both, but also work with both organisations to promote volunteering to the local communities and to staff.
9. MONITORING AND REVIEW OF THE VOLUNTEER POLICY
9.1 NHS Fife and H&SCP are committed to an ongoing process of monitoring and evaluation of this policy in consultation with all relevant parties. The policy will reflect and complement NHS Fife’s corporate objectives, the Volunteering Strategic Framework and the stated priorities in relation to improving health, tackling inequalities and promoting equalities Reports will be submitted as and when required from all volunteer Managers / Co-ordinator via Care and Clinical Governance structures.
10. RISK MANAGEMENT
10.1 NHS Fife Board requires assurance that all volunteers are recruited, managed and supported in accordance with appropriate policies and procedures.
10.2 All risks associated with volunteering will be recorded on the Patient Relations Risk Register.
10.3 The Volunteering Development Group is chaired by Head of Person Centred Care, Patient Relations.
11. RELATED DOCUMENTS
• NHS Fife Strategic Framework for Volunteering
• NHS Fife Volunteer Expenses Procedure
• NHS Fife Working with or Involving Volunteers
• NHS Fife Equality Impact Assessment
• Refreshed Strategy for Volunteering in NHS Scotland CEL 10 (2008)
• CEL 23 (2011); Guidance on Reimbursement of ‘Out of Pocket’ Expenses for Volunteers within NHS Scotland
• Volunteering Development Scotland (VDS) 2007 – a Framework for Volunteering;
• Volunteering for All: national framework (Scottish Government 2019)
• The Equality Act 2010;
• Public Sector Duty 2012;
• NHS Fife Recruitment and Selection Standards;
• NHS Fife Human Resources Policies – Confidentiality; Incident Reporting; Health & Safety; Welfare and Environment; Disclosure Scotland; Protection of Vulnerable Adults Scheme (PVG).