The combined NHS Foundation Trust of Warrington and Halton Hospitals is responsible for a budget of around £215 million each year, manage over 4,200 staff and provide access to care for over half a million patients.
Two volunteer managers, Claire and Emily, manage and coordinate volunteers across the entire trust. We spoke to Claire to find out how Warrington and Halton have a managed volunteers since December 2016 using TeamKinetic volunteer management software.
Can you explain your roles and responsibilities at Warrington and Halton Hospitals?
Emily and I lead the volunteer programme here at Warrington and Halton Hospitals Trust. We are responsible for the safe recruitment and training of new and existing volunteers and developing innovative ways to engage volunteers to support patient and visitor experience. We also work alongside the whole staff team to develop and improve their volunteer management skills.
How did you come across TeamKinetic?
In a previous role I was the North West Volunteer Centres Representative for NCVO and had a demonstration of the Volunteer Kinetic software when the Volunteer Centre network was looking at alternative brokering solutions. It was a couple of years later when working with Warrington and Halton NHS Trust that I saw the opportunity for TeamKinetic to provide its software benefits for the organisation, so I got in touch.
Can you tell me about the kind of opportunities you have available to volunteers?
Currently, we have 32 different opportunities for volunteers to get involved in, both clinical and non-clinical. Some of these roles are more traditional such as our administrative roles, meeting and greeting and ward buddies, but there are also some unique roles that we have developed specifically for us. We have worked closely with our theatre departments, to develop roles for volunteers to assist our sterile services and providing back-office support to the stores area, We also have volunteers in our eye clinic, medical engineering department and accommodation and education department to name a few.
How has TeamKinetic improved the recruitment process for volunteers?
The volunteering portal provided by TeamKinetichasallowed a simple registration process for our new volunteers enabling us to exceed our volunteer recruitment forecast to date. Being able to monitor the recruitment steps and manage the administration of DBS checks has supported a smoother and quicker registration to active rate.How has TeamKinetic benefited the volunteer?
Our volunteers are aged from 16 to 83. For those confident using technologies it has handed over the responsibility for finding opportunities, logging hours and tracking their progress. This has incentivised them to search for more opportunities that match their interests and suit their needs.
Of course for those less confident using technology we have spent some time showing them, and for others we can imitate them as a user, enabling us to log their hours and track their activities. Provider and Volunteer feedback on the portal is also a useful tool in encouraging others to register and supports the recognition and reward of their individual contribution.We have received some great feedback from our volunteers, telling us how much they like the system and like being able to pick their own opportunities and have the ability to try a variety of roles at the same time. This has been a major draw for some of our younger volunteers who are keen to further their education and careers in the Health and Social Care field..How has TeamKinetic benefited the opportunity providers?
Using the volunteering portal to list opportunities has made advertising opportunities across lots of social media channels and websites a lot easier. We take a short amount of time to train up key staff to upload opportunities themselves if they are confident, giving them more freedom and access to engaging volunteers who engage in their area of work
For those departments and staff who have time limitations and have a host of other programmes and systems to use, we are able to take the pressure off them and do it on their behalf. Collectively, this reduces the pressure placed on us volunteer managers and also reduces the time it takes for them to advertise opportunities.
What influence has your organisation had in the development of TeamKinetic’s functionality?
Over the last year, we have seen continually provided feedback on how the system could be developed to support specific aspects of our recruitment and administration processes, to give us back valuable time to support our volunteers and staffAs the NHS’ recruitment is a much more stringent process compared to other sectors, such as sport. We needed a greater focus on the internal documentation required, and some of the suggestions we have made have gone into the development of the software
What advice would you have for other NHS Trusts who need to improve their volunteer management?
For us TeamKinetic software simplifies the recruitment and management of volunteers, enabling us to advertise opportunities on multiple social media channels and being an easy read platform for our volunteers to get involved in the opportunities available. Engaging more volunteers and providing robust good quality opportunities that support our staff and patient experience enables us to add value and improve our service to those using Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Trust.
Thank you for time and comments Claire and Emily
If you would like to find out more about TeamKinetic’s software work please visit our website or read more on how we have helped NHS Trusts to improve their volunteer management. Check out our other blog on NHS Pennine Acute Trust or book a free demonstration now.