Dave Buck, King’s Fund


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Dave Buck, King’s Fund

  1. 1. Demonstrating the impact of volunteering: Lessons from (our..) research David Buck Senior Fellow in Public Health and Health Inequalities, The King’s Fund 20th March 2014 Demonstrating the impact of volunteering, The British Medical Association, London
  2. 2. The aims “To gain a greater understanding of the role, size, scope and value of volunteering in the health and care sector” “To understand how health reform, particularly the development of any qualified provider, will impact on volunteering in the sector.” ..but not about the voluntary and community sector per se
  3. 3. The experience.. Where we started... Where we finished... ...focus on hospital providers and reform impact on volunteering: opportunities and challenges of more diverse providers... ...much broader perspective on role of volunteers in community, as well as with providers ... opportunities and challenges of reforms and wider economic environment and existing trends in volunteer diversity for providers, commissioners and volunteers
  4. 4. How much do we already know? Incomplete information on scale & scope Motivations for volunteering vary Strong (but fragmented, few “numbers”) evidence for health & social benefits to volunteers Building social capital & community resilience Benefits to patients less easy to demonstrate Do volunteers complement or substitute paid staff?
  5. 5. Did we already know?
  6. 6. The relationship between services and communities “I think volunteers are the future of the NHS, are the coproduction element, and really the NHS meeting its own aspirations of a partnership between people and government” GP commissioner “Without volunteering we would have no interface or a very difficult interface with this community, it’s absolutely essential to our engagement with this very diverse and very complex community” Local authority commissioner
  7. 7. The changing role of volunteers “There are jobs, there are certain tasks that once upon a time some trained staff would be doing but now they’re using volunteers more and more and more… I’m just very concerned about the whole, bigger picture of the authorities using volunteers...” Hospital volunteer “What we’ve tried to do is to push de-professionalisation as far as you possibly can, because that’s the way you get bang for your bucks. You create a snowball effect which doesn’t involve paying professionals who are very expensive.” GP commissioner
  8. 8. Financial pressure “What I’m hearing is a repeated refrain… something that I have not heard for a very long time, which is we don’t want to be doing this on the cheap, we shouldn’t be using volunteers to replace public services. Now it’s a long time since I’ve heard that as a refrain and my reading of it is the impact of the cuts, the squeeze on public services is making people super-sensitive to then giving their services for nothing or requiring others to give their services for nothing, so I think it’s been a bit of a game- changer” Local authority commissioner
  9. 9. Key recommendations...
  10. 10. The aims “To gain a greater understanding of the role, size, scope and value of volunteering in the health and care sector” As a starting point, a national survey of NHS acute hospital trusts and case studies Questions on volunteers, roles, impact and funding for volunteer services
  11. 11. Findings
  12. 12. Findings
  13. 13. Findings
  14. 14. Findings A (too) simple measure of impact for our sample… “Minimum” benefits – Across the sample the hours donated by volunteers – An average pay rate for equivalent work* Costs – The cost of managing and training volunteers > Benefit to cost ratio * Band 2, Agenda for Change, several trusts in our sample using this
  15. 15. Findings
  16. 16. Findings But measures for who and for what purpose… – Recruiting and retaining volunteers – their experience an sense of achievement? – Improving patient experience – patient’s experience (FFT?) – Improving patient outcomes – outcomes from treatment (inc QALYs?) – Costs and utilisation – impact on throughput/LoS? – Organisational relationship with community – sense of ownership/engagement? – Commissioners – cost/outcomes/avoiding readmission etc etc…
  17. 17. Findings
  18. 18. Findings
  19. 19. For more... The final report http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/volunt ary-and-community-sector-health The background literature review on benefits of volunteering http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/volunt eering-health-and-care Full NHS acute trust survey results, and our views on them, http://www.kingsfund.org.uk/publications/volunt eering-acute-trusts-england