Hospital’s voluntary services team celebrates fifth consecutive year of national accreditation
- Credit: NNUH
The Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) voluntary services team is celebrating receiving a national accreditation for the fifth time running – the first organisation providing acute care in the UK to achieve this.
Investing in volunteers is a national accreditation and is the UK quality standard for good practice in volunteer management. The accreditation is offered to organisations every three years.
To become an accredited organisation, the hospital has to meet stringent criteria in a self-assessment, which looks at areas such as how the trust recognises, supports and protects volunteers, ensuring there is a clear and fair recruitment process, assigning appropriate volunteer roles based on their needs and interest and involving volunteers who reflect the diversity of the local community. It also looks at how the organisation commits appropriate resources to working with all volunteers, such as staff time and materials, and that there is an expressed commitment to the involvement of volunteers.
Following the approval of the self-assessment, the trust was visited by an assessor at the beginning of March over the course of three days where they spoke to 70 volunteers as well as staff from a range of departments who benefit from volunteers.
The investing in volunteers assessor noted that: 'The voluntary services team has continued to develop its services in a way that encourages a significant amount of diversity among its volunteers. People with all levels of ability, ethnicities, genders and ages are encouraged to positively engage in the volunteer programme.'
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They added: 'The voluntary services team matches volunteers to the needs of each individual volunteer role very carefully, considering not only the needs of the department or area that requires a volunteer, but the specific abilities, skills or limitations of each volunteer.'
Sally Dyson, voluntary services manager at NNUH said: 'This really is fantastic news for us. Our voluntary services team works so hard to ensure our volunteers get the most from their role and support them on every step of their volunteering journey with us. I want to share my continuous thanks to all of our volunteers whose support enriches the lives of patients and staff across both hospitals and we are very grateful to them.'
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NNUH currently has 675 volunteers providing over 3000 hours of support each week in 10 different types of roles across the hospital.
These roles include meal-time assistance on the older people's medicine wards, meeting and greeting patients on the hospital reception desks and meeting patients at their home to help them settle-in on their day of discharge.
The assessor highlighted how the trust recognises and celebrates the support of volunteers through various ways including the annual volunteers Christmas party and the volunteer of the year award category at the NNUH staff awards.
Anne Brown, from Norwich, has been volunteering for NNUH for more than seven years on a reception desk and helping patients on Weybourne ward.
She said: 'The voluntary services team is great. You get an extensive introduction to the hospital when you start, there is training, and if you need anything you can give them a call. You can make what you want out of the role and there are many volunteering opportunities at the hospital.'
Mark Davies, chief executive at NNUH said: 'I want to share my congratulations to the voluntary services team for this remarkable achievement. The hard work of our voluntary services team to ensure our volunteers are supported in their roles is invaluable, and it's this work that enables our volunteers to support the trust in the various ways they do. I want to also take this opportunity to share my thanks to all our volunteers – you are an inspiration to us all.'