NHS National Services Scotland renew their award

15 June 2015

NHS National Services Scotland achieved IiV in October 2012 and successfully renewed their award in April 2015

NHS-National -Services -ScotlandNHS National Services Scotland (NSS) is accountable to the Scottish Government. NSS provide national strategic support services and expert advice to NHS Scotland.

NSS Strategic Business Units include Blood, Tissues and Cells Services- which provides specialised transfusion medicine, collecting and supplying high quality blood, tissues and cells across Scotland. The vast majority of volunteering activity is concentrated on the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) who engage around 500 volunteers as Poster Volunteers and Refreshment Volunteers, most of whom deliver awareness raising talks in their own communities.

Since their achievement of Investing in Volunteers three years ago, NSS has appointed a National Manager with responsibility to 'line manage' all Volunteer Managers in Scottish National Blood Transfusion Services which ensures continuous improvement of the standardisation process.

The assessor was impressed by the staff commitment to their volunteers and the individual recognition delivered to all volunteers. This is remarkable as some of the volunteers had not met their co-ordinators face to face and yet on the day of assessment one would not have known they were meeting for the first time as the volunteers stated "My co-ordinator telephones to ask if I am available on a certain date, she spends time getting to know me and my family", "when I was in hospital she sent me a card, she is so up to date with my life although we only speak twice a year". Another volunteer said of another co-ordinator, "I call her anytime I have an idea of giving a presentation or require more resources and we talk for ages. I feel I know her as a friend". Similar comments were made by volunteers at each of the 5 geographical regions.

"Volunteers add value to our service and are greatly appreciated; they link us to the communities..." 

Volunteer Co-ordinators commented, “Volunteers have more time to spend with blood donors when serving refreshments, they are people who are known and trusted locally" and "we do not have the capacity to go out with posters, local volunteers have the local knowledge and networks which allow them to advertise in their communities more effectively than we could by merely sending out posters to businesses". "Volunteers add value to our service and are greatly appreciated; they link us to the communities and allow us to meet our targets".

The assessor was impressed by the knowledge the Chief Executive had of individual volunteer achievements. Some volunteers had taken on paid positions having trained in a particular area within NBTS while others had been encouraged by their co-ordinators to develop their volunteering opportunities which increased their confidence.

All staff interviewed were pleased to be involved in the IiV process and found it gave them the opportunity to refresh their policies and procedures regarding volunteers.