latest health care news


Royal Voluntary Service aims to double NHS volunteers

In a new partnership with HelpForce announced today, the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) is aiming to double the number of volunteers in the NHS by 2021.

HelpForce, a  Community Interest Company set up at the end of last year and led by Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett, is aiming to integrate volunteers into the heart of the NHS over the next five years.

Encouragingly, new research conducted by YouGov for RVS found that over one fifth of adults in the UK would consider volunteering to support the NHS. If just half of them were to do so for two hours a month, this would equate to more than 16.5 million working days a year being donated.

The poll also found that over half felt volunteers could increase patient and visitor satisfaction by providing vital non-medical support on wards.

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive, Royal Voluntary Service, said: "Our NHS is envied across the world and with continued developments in medicine helping us to live longer, it is no surprise there are constantly new pressures facing the service.

“As a society we need to find new ways to support our NHS and I can see huge opportunities for us and others to do more through the gift of voluntary service. From expanding our existing services such as Home from Hospital to exploring new ways to relieve some of the pressures, I believe volunteers can support our NHS to have more time for patient care.”

Sir Tom Hughes-Hallett, founder of HelpForce , said: “Volunteering is good for all of us - patients, staff, communities, as well as the volunteers themselves. This research shows the huge appetite among the public to get involved and support the NHS, and the time is right to make the most of this opportunity.

“This partnership and the resources Royal Voluntary Service has dedicated will ensure we develop robust, tested, national-level initiatives that can transform the volunteering experience.”

Dr Stephen Dunn, chief executive of West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, recently discussed the vital role volunteers have played in West Suffolk and how they are an untapped recourse of potential for the NHS.


Enjoying NHE? Subscribe here to receive our weekly news updates or click here to receive a copy of the magazine!


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


Turning blue lights green

11/04/2019Turning blue lights green

Polly Billington, director of UK100, a cities network that campaigns on env... more >
Going back to school at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

10/04/2019Going back to school at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Steve Hams, director of quality and chief nurse at Gloucestershire Hospital... more >


How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

System working in an uncertain world

09/05/2019System working in an uncertain world

What, exactly, is an integrated care system? Well, it’s unclear, writes Kacey Cogle, policy advisor at NHS Providers. On the NHS England website, integrated care sy... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >