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Could Volunteers help your Practice?

We’ve just begun a journey to engage with volunteers and bring their skills and enthusiasm into our practice. The first step, and drive to do this, has been a successful Healthmakers pilot. It made us consider how volunteers could help our patients and practice.


Doctors hands consoling patient

A Kings Fund paper said, ‘volunteering in general practice can have a positive impact on the volunteers, practice staff and patients.’ We’ve started imagining the possibilities.


How could a Practice Volunteer Community add value? We’ve started thinking of the easy, obvious stuff. It’s a long way to match practices like Bromley by Bow, who show what’s possible. We must think bigger.


Maybe every practice should ask what can they do to build a Volunteer Community? They could start with these three:


1. Hold a volunteer open day, to share thoughts, capture ideas and sign up volunteers.

2. Ask local community groups to bring their activities into the practice.

3. Run a pilot project. If you don’t try, you won’t know.


It will be work recruiting, supporting and safely managing volunteers but that can be outweighed by the benefits to the practice and patients.


Volunteers aren’t a substitute for clinicians but they can bring different and additional support. That’s worth trying for.


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