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Readers’ panel: Is the planned increase in volunteers in hospitals a good way to relieve pressure on nursing staff?

Non-profit community interest company HelpForce has pledged to increase the number of volunteers in hospitals from an estimated 78,000 to more than 150,000 by 2021. Nursing Standard readers have their say.

Non-profit community interest company HelpForce has pledged to increase the number of volunteers in hospitals from an estimated 78,000 to more than 150,000 by 2021. Nursing Standard readers have their say

Liz Charalambous is a staff nurse and PhD student in Nottingham

@lizcharalambou

I welcome this strategic approach to support voluntary action in the NHS, but it must be managed with care to ensure the safety of vulnerable patients as well as staff. There must be investment to ensure volunteers are adequately prepared to undertake this role, including comprehensive training, management and support to prepare them for the challenges of a busy acute clinical environment. We must beware of building services around volunteers, and have a detailed role description and definition.

Rachel Kent is a mental health nurse in London

Volunteers do amazing work,

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