Volunteering in NHS Scotland

We have been working in partnership with the Scottish Government Health Directorates since 2008 undertaking a variety of activities aimed at developing volunteering in Health and Social Care Settings.

The Refreshed Strategy for Volunteering in NHS Scotland (2008 - 2011) aimed to achieve consistently high quality approaches to volunteering across NHS Scotland and to maximise the benefits volunteering brings to patients, users, carers, NHS staff and the volunteers themselves. A key part of the strategy was that NHS Boards should achieve the Investing in Volunteers (IiV) our UK quality standard for all organisations which involve volunteers in their work. This was really successful with all NHS Boards in Scotland now having IiV status and we are now working to support them with their renewals.

At the end of the 3-year programme, the Scottish Health Council conducted a review of the Refreshed Strategy for Volunteering in the NHS in Scotland in order to understand what progress had been made. This review identified that:

  • Awareness of volunteering had been raised, primarily through the Investing in Volunteers award
  • The acceptance of volunteering had increased in some areas
  • The number and diversity of volunteers had increased, as had the number of volunteer roles
  • Volunteers were making a greater contribution to health service delivery.

The Scottish Government has continued to support the development of volunteering in NHSScotland with an ongoing programme aiming to improve the sustainability of volunteering.

Leanne McKluckie explains how working as a volunteer has helped her develop practical experience and the skills to progress into employment within NHS Fife.