Volunteering in general practice

Volunteering in general practice: Opportunities and insights | The Kings Fund 

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The King’s Fund has published ‘Volunteering in general practice: opportunities and insights‘.  This paper explores how volunteers can provide support for the role of general practice, and the opportunities for organisations that currently support volunteering to work more closely with general practice.

Publication overview:

  • Interest is growing in the contribution that volunteering can make in health and social care. This paper builds on our previous work, which examined volunteering in hospitals, to explore ways in which volunteers are involved with, and are contributing to, general practice.
  • The authors identify four approaches to supporting volunteering in general practice: use of volunteers to enable general practice to carry out its activities; organisations using volunteer support that were located within general practice premises; social prescribing; and community-centred general practices.
  • 10 case studies are explored, which demonstrate that approaches to supporting volunteering in general practice provide an opportunity for practices to engage beyond their traditional boundaries, creating an interface with voluntary and community sector organisations and with the wider community.
  • The practice examples highlight the importance of partnership work to support and sustain volunteering, the different design and resource considerations in choosing an appropriate approach, the support and management requirements for volunteers and strategic factors that influence success and sustainability.

Full document:   Volunteering in general practice: opportunities and insights.

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Working together for a digital future

NHS England’s Chief Digital Officer, Juliet Bauer,  examines achievements so far, such as developing patient facing tools and outlines plans for the future.

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In the spring NHS England will plan to publish guidance to help local organisations ensure that systems they develop or commission, to bring together patients’ information in one place and known as a Personal Health Record, are as high quality and connectable as possible.

They will  also release an early version of an NHS digital services manual drawing together new and existing design and development tools guidance, and begin initial testing of a single system for verifying the identity of those requesting access to digital health records and services.

NHS England are also building an open and connectable platform that will make it easy for innovative developers to plug their technology in to our single, joined up NHS app, and start making a difference to patients. The app will be live by the end of the year.

It’s clear that NHS England programmes are already having an impact on patients, helping them conveniently access the NHS and discover the very best advice and support so that they can care for themselves too.

Their role is to help these developments go further, faster so that we constantly improve the care and experience we offer patients.

There is also a new  road map for digital health and care services  which shows what has already been achieved and sets out time frames  for future improvements.

Further information is available from the blog post here  

 

 

Learning from vanguards

The NHS Confederation has published the following briefings sharing learning from vanguards:

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Image source: http://www.nhsconfed.org