Liberal Democrats Party Conference: Are volunteers the answer to support the future of care?
Are volunteers the answer to support the future of care?
Volunteering plays an important part in the NHS, in social care and community support, and with the development of integrated care we need to see how we bring those traditions of volunteering together. With COVID-19 we saw what can be achieved when volunteers were mobilised further, so what part can volunteering play in developing person-centered integrated care and support that is cost effective and responsive to needs of different communities in the future? This Fringe Event brings together experience from different sectors to consider the opportunities and challenges for the coming period. It will seek to answer the fundamental question – Are volunteers the answer to support the future of care?
Volunteers have for long played a part in the delivery of care and support in the NHS and more widely in the community. The response to Covid-19 has challenged the existing models of volunteering. Whilst traditional roles have been disrupted, new opportunities have arisen. The potential is seen in the massive response to the NHS Volunteer Responder Programme and in many local initiatives. At the same time, many voluntary health and care organisations, both local and national, are facing unprecedented funding challenges just when demand for their support is increasing. Within the NHS, there are significant resourcing challenges to support new service delivery. These models include hospital discharge, social prescribing and virtual consultations. In social care, the roles of volunteers in providing community support as well as the massive contribution of family care-givers is well established. Meanwhile workforce shortages in both health and social care are likely to be with us for several years.
This Fringe Event will explore what part volunteering can play in ensuring that patients and the public generally can enjoy the best possible support from more integrated care services. Drawing on expertise from the NHS, local government, social care providers and the voluntary sector this Fringe Event will critically review the realities of volunteering in the 2020s.
Key question to be asked is: Are volunteers the answer to support the future of care?
The Fringe Event will be public and will be conducted on Zoom. Participants will be encouraged to contribute through the chat function as well as through live contributions when invited to do so by the Chair.
Key questions to be asked are:
- How far has your thinking changed during Covid-19 on the contribution volunteers can make?
- Where can volunteers add the greatest value as integrated care systems develop?
- What can we do to best enable the use of volunteers?
13:00: Chair’s welcome – Rt Hon Stephen Dorrell
13:05: Jeremy Hughes CBE, Former CEO at Alzheimer Society and Breakthrough Breast Cancer
13:15: Sir Norman Lamb, Chair of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
13:25: Cllr Richard Kemp CBE, Vice Chair of the Local Government Association
13:35: Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service
13:50: Event Close