This program of research focused on the role of hospital volunteers and their place within the health care team.
Clinicians are reporting working at capacity and are struggling to meet patient needs. Volunteers enable the clinical team to do more to meet these needs by taking on greater responsibilities. However, workforce planning and management continue to focus on those in paid roles, and the perceptions about volunteers’ place within the health care team are varied, resulting in their underuse.
Engaging volunteers in an impactful way requires that they be integrated into the health care team. Volunteers, themselves, report wanting to be included in the health care team. To facilitate this, clarity regarding the role of volunteers in hospital settings is required which, in turn, could support workforce planning that is inclusive of volunteers and their potential for positive impact.
For further discussion on the hidden value of hospital volunteers, take a look at Dr. Michelle Nelson’s piece on Health Debate: How to unlock the hidden potential in hospital volunteers.
Community Reintegration Support
This program of research focused on designing and testing partnership models between statutory health services and the third sector (volunteers, NGO, nonprofits etc) to support people in their transition from hospital to home.
Current discharge support solutions are often framed within a single sector – health care services, social programs, charitable sector, or grassroots initiatives. However, this siloed nature of service does not reflect how people see their time in hospital. As a previous research participant (reflecting on their discharge from hospital) shared with Dr. Nelson “I don’t know why you keep saying ‘community reintegration’… I never left my community. I was just in the hospital for a while”. Solutions supporting individuals transition between community settings cannot sit within a single sector – health, social or NGO. Current evidence suggests that volunteers can can aid in this process, and that collaborations between the sectors is required to identify individuals with unmet needs, and signpost them to appropriate services.
Details on current partner projects coming soon!
Want to collaborate on a project? Contact us today!