NHS leaders in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR) are calling for people to volunteer their time to support local health services, with their ‘Make a difference and feel the difference’ campaign.
Across LLR there are many ways in which people can volunteer, both in person and online. Volunteering in any capacity can not only benefit those most in need but it also enables volunteers to gain experience, skills and knowledge and it can be an opportunity to help shape the development of local healthcare services.
Dr Nil Sanganee, Chief Medical Officer for the Leicester, Leicestershire, and Rutland Integrated Care Board, said: “Volunteering within the NHS can be incredibly rewarding and, if you are a busy person, it only requires a short time commitment. Within LLR there are many opportunities to volunteer, such as joining a patient group at your GP practice or, if you have a particular area of interest, our hospitals have many varied volunteer opportunities that you can get involved with. Whatever you choose to do, you can be sure it will make a real difference.
“Volunteering can also help you to build confidence, meet new people and, if you are looking to get back into work or studying to become a healthcare professional, volunteering can help you gain direct experience.”
Alan, who is a member of the Patient Participation Group at Barwell and Hollycroft Medical Centres, said: “I like to work with something I’m not familiar with and take on new challenges. There’s a lot of satisfaction helping people who you feel need your support. By working with my GP surgery, I can help patients who may be struggling to access services. GP surgeries have changed so much and it’s important to let patients know what other services are on offer in addition to the GP.”
Local volunteer opportunities include joining the:
- Patient Participation Group at your GP practice, discussing how services could be improved, how the practice can better involve patients and the local community in their work, and arranging community activities, surveys and events.
- Public and Patient Involvement Assurance Group, which assures the involvement of people in the design of health services
- Online Citizens’ Panel, where you can share your views and opinions on a wide variety of health topics to help shape services for the future.
There are also many other volunteering opportunities with:
- Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, which provides community and mental health services
- University Hospitals of Leicester Hospital Volunteer Service, which provides a range of roles to support patient care.
- Healthwatch Leicester and Leicestershire and Healthwatch Rutland, to help fulfil their purpose in being the champion for people using health and social care services.
To find out more about what each of these organisations and groups do and the opportunities available with them, and hear from other volunteers about their experience, visit: https://leicesterleicestershireandrutlandhwp.uk/volunteering, where you can also complete the sign-up form to volunteer.
Dr Sanganee concluded: “Volunteering really does go a very long way, especially in the NHS. Every single person that volunteers will be making a positive impact on patient care.”