At Imperial Health Charity we engage volunteers to, first and foremost, help us to improve the experience for patients, visitors and staff within the five hospitals of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
Our vision for volunteering at Imperial is to achieve an instantly recognisable community of volunteers who are visibly making a positive difference to the experience of all of our patients, visitors and staff.
We want volunteers to feel valued and well supported as part of the team to truly live our values in the roles. We want staff to be able to understand, work with and support volunteers to help them make a difference for our patients.
At our core we believe that the role of a volunteer within the NHS environment is to add value to the work of our paid professionals, not to replace jobs, cover gaps or cut costs. This policy sets out our commitment to managing a high-quality volunteering programme and the methods through which we will do this, to ensure that both volunteers and our hospitals benefit from the experience.
Head of Volunteering
For volunteers: who are currently involved in activities across the hospitals, and in the work of the Charity and those individuals who are interested in becoming a volunteer.
For Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust staff: who already involve, or work alongside, volunteers or are considering creating a new role or opportunity for volunteers to improve the patient experience, in their department.
For Imperial Health Charity staff: who manage, support or work alongside volunteers
For other organisations: who work alongside us within the hospitals.
For the purposes of this policy, Imperial Health Charity define a volunteer at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust as:
- Having a defined role with clear tasks and responsibilities
- Which is more than just providing feedback or service user input
- Which is unpaid;
- Doing something that benefits patients, visitors and/or staff and the wider aims of the Charity
- Other than, or in addition to, close relatives
Volunteering with Imperial Health Charity, as defined in this policy, does not cover the following:
- Consultations or patient involvement in the development of services
- Mandated requirements to complete ‘voluntary service’ as part of academic studies
- Work experience or professional shadowing
- Attending patient support groups
- Trustees and volunteers of other charities operating within the hospitals, unless they are also a properly appointed volunteer carrying out a volunteer role with a weekly commitment
- Individuals who hold fundraising or awareness stands in public areas within the hospitals, including individuals who may support our partner charities with adhoc fundraising events either in our hospitals or in the community
- Taking part in a medical or drugs trial
‘We’- where used refers to Imperial Health Charity.
‘The Trust’- abbreviated from Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.
‘Volunteer Supervisor’- the named member of Trust staff providing day to day support to volunteers.
‘Volunteering Manager’ – a specific staff post within the Volunteering Department, employed by Imperial Health Charity that looks after and oversees volunteer involvement, recruitment and support processes, within particular hospitals within the Trust. There are currently three Volunteering Managers, one for each of Charing Cross Hospital, Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea hospitals, and St Mary’s and Western Eye hospitals.
All aspects of this policy apply to all volunteers in all roles unless otherwise stated. Examples of roles where slightly different arrangements may apply are Charity Champions, Trust Staff Volunteers, community-based volunteers and Charity Office volunteers. Exceptions may also apply when Imperial Health Charity work in partnership to manage volunteers with other organisations and charities. Where different processes and procedures apply this will be stated clearly throughout the policy.
What volunteers can expect from Imperial Health Charity:
- A named member of staff as a main point of contact who will support you, manage your tasks, answer questions and provide help when you need it
- Regular contact and support from staff within the Volunteering Department, including a dedicated Volunteering Manager based at your main hospital site (which would include contact from us if you are absent from your role)
- An official volunteer uniform to wear whilst volunteering
- Core Training and ongoing role-specific guidance, support and training
- Refresher training courses and additional training opportunities, along with insurance cover to ensure you have a quality, safe and happy experience volunteering with us
- An opportunity to feed back about your experience volunteering with us
- To be treated equally and without discrimination
- For any issues, problems or concerns you face whilst volunteering to be addressed and resolved fairly
- Recognition for your contribution as a volunteer
- Reimbursement of out of pocket expenses, in accordance with our volunteer expenses policy
- Opportunities to socialise and meet other volunteers and staff
What we expect from volunteers:
- Support Imperial Health Charity, our hospitals and our partners by carrying out your volunteer role to the best of your ability within the boundaries of the Role Description, organisational policies and training
- Complete a Core Training session and any other training including regular updates as requested
- Successfully complete required vetting checks (including DBS disclosure where required), and inform us if anything in your circumstances changes that might affect having a satisfactory DBS disclosure
- Contribute to and share in the success of the team you volunteer with as well as the wider team of Imperial Health Charity volunteers
- Provide excellent customer service and strive to ensure that every patient or visitor has the best possible experience with us
- Recognise the importance of our patients, donors and NHS staff in supporting the work of the charity
- Wear your volunteer uniform and provided form of identification whilst volunteering and ensure you are presentable at all times, following any location-specific dress code as required
- Sign in and out each time you volunteer according to the routine for your location and keep us informed if your circumstances change
- Uphold Health and Safety by following our policies, procedures and standards by:
- Being aware of your own health and safety and of that of others, reporting any incidents including any safeguarding observations and concerns
- Respecting others and treating everyone equally, including patients, staff, visitors, supporters and other volunteers
- Maintain confidentiality at all times, including within our hospitals, regarding our activities, the patients in our care, our team and our procedures
- Ensure all activities you undertake as a volunteer do not risk bringing the NHS Trust, Imperial Health Charity or our partners into disrepute
- Be a positive representative of Imperial Health Charity, be accountable for your actions and accept constructive feedback, at all times
- Meet time commitments and standards agreed, and where possible give reasonable notice when unavailable, so other arrangements can be made
1.1 Creating new opportunities for people to volunteer is a collaborative process. Staff within the
hospitals or other charity teams are encouraged to identify ways in which volunteers could support
and be part of their teams. The Volunteering Department will provide advice as to suitability of tasks
and roles generally so as to ensure that it meets our core principle that volunteers should only be
engaged to add value to the work of paid staff, not replace or substitute paid staff jobs or tasks. We
will work in partnership with teams to ensure that roles created are both of value to the organisation
and will provide potential volunteers with enjoyment, opportunity to learn or use skills, meet new
people or feel they are meaningfully contributing, or all of the above. Teams wishing to explore
involving volunteers are encouraged to seek advice from the Volunteering Department. The
Volunteering Department usually works to an annual plan, and will agree those roles and teams to
work with in advance, this is usually aligned with priorities for the charity and Trust working together
for that year. See 21. Volunteer Roles. In some circumstances the Volunteering Department will also
work with non-clinical Trust teams or partner organisations to create roles for groups of staff. These
may be closed roles that will not be advertised. Any necessary vetting and training must be
completed before staff go onto wards and into clinical areas unaccompanied. If these are not
completed, for example for one off events, all members of staff from external organisations must be
accompanied by a member of Imperial Health Charity staff at all times whilst volunteering.
1.2 Imperial Health Charity welcomes volunteer applications from all areas of the community. People
volunteer for the widest reasons, bringing with them their experience, skills and motivation. All
prospective volunteers must complete a standard volunteer application form, accessible via the
Imperial Health Charity website. For those who do not have access to the internet, reasonable
adjustments will be made, where possible, to enable a paper form to be completed. At Imperial
Health Charity, volunteer recruitment is driven by organisational need so potential volunteers can
apply for roles advertised, which are clearly defined opportunities and activities which add value to
the work of both Imperial Health Charity and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. All volunteer
opportunities will be supported by individual volunteer role descriptions. As a Charity supporting an
NHS Trust, clinical and non-clinical staff across all five Imperial Hospitals work in collaboration with
the Volunteering Department, to ensure that roles advertised focus on improving patient experience.
Unfortunately, applications will not be accepted after the specified deadline on the role advert due to
the capacity of the team which administrate these applications.
1.3 Roles are actively advertised in a variety of ways, to try and capture a range of applicants from all
aspects of the community. Applications are particularly welcome from those that live in and around
the areas of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust hospitals, including patients, ex-patients,
carers and family members. Advertising methods, used depending on the nature of the role, include:
• Online, through websites such as Do It and Team London.
• In the hospitals, on noticeboards, and within wards and public areas.
• Within the local community, for example GP surgeries, pharmacies, libraries and community
noticeboards in shops and other organisations.
• The Volunteering Department will also work closely with local Volunteer Centres, universities
and colleges to advertise roles.
1.4 For any roles which require specific skills or experience, requirements will be explained clearly on the role description for prospective volunteers before they begin the application process. Unless
otherwise indicated on the role description or through bespoke programmes such as the Youth
Volunteering Programme (designed for 16-25 year olds), roles are only open to applicants aged 18
1.5 Imperial Health Charity will do everything practically possible to ensure volunteer opportunities are
available to everyone, in line with its commitment to Equality and Diversity. Whilst there is no
specific upper age limit for volunteering with Imperial Health Charity, consideration will always be given to an applicant’s physical and mental ability to carry out the role.
2.1 Imperial Health Charity carries out a selection process for each role, to ensure volunteers match the skills and experience needed to undertake key tasks, as outlined in the Role Description. The relevant vetting procedures are required to be completed, before being placed in a role. This can include either a standard or enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) and receipt of satisfactory references. The requirements will vary depending on the nature of the role and whether it is a clinical role (based on a ward), clerical role (based in an office or non-patient facing role), nonhospital based or an irregular role. When roles are created we will refer to the latest guidance from NHS Employers using their scenarios and eligibility checker for volunteers to determine a role’s eligibility to have a DBS check and to which level. 2.2 All applications received will be shortlisted against the advertised criteria for the specific role, based on the skills/experience section outlined in the Role Description. Applicants are encouraged to complete the application form with as much detail as they can provide to give us a full picture of their experience and motivations to volunteer. Applications which do not demonstrate the standards required, or are completed incorrectly, will either be encouraged to re-submit where time and capacity allows or will be deemed unsuccessful. Unsuccessful applicants will be informed as soon as possible after the closing date. Due to the volume of applications and general enquiries that we receive, we are not able to promise any individual feedback at this stage in our process. Applications from current or previous volunteers or previously unsuccessful applicants will be considered with the exception of any individuals who we have had to end a volunteer relationship with or where previous criminal behaviour deems them unsuitable for the new role they are applying for. 2.3 Imperial Health Charity welcomes applications from all aspects of the community and will not discriminate on any of the nine protected characteristics detailed in the Equalities Act, including (but not exclusively) religious belief, political opinion, social background, ethnic and national origin, gender, sexual orientation, disability or age. Imperial Health Charity will ensure recruitment and selection procedures are consistent, provide equality of opportunity and are seen to be fair by all. Selection decisions are based on an individual’s ability to do the role they have applied for. Equal opportunities data is captured as an optional element of the application form purely for monitoring purposes and is not made available to staff involved in our selection process. 2.4 Unless indicated otherwise, all individuals applying for a volunteer role are required to attend a selection activity. Selection activities will either take the form of a face to face interview or a selection event involving group activities and an interview. Group activities are designed to show team working and communication skills, as well as skills specific to the role applied for. Where applicants are unable to attend in person the Volunteering Department may be able to arrange an interview over the phone or via Skype. As far as possible NHS Trust or Charity staff, who will be supervising the new volunteers, will be involved in the selection activities so that they can advise as to suitability of individuals for the role and their team. Where an individual is deemed to be unsuitable we will endeavour to give feedback if requested, or signpost to other volunteering opportunities both within the organisation and other similar organisations. 2.5 Once individuals have attended a selection activity, whether a group selection event or individual interview, we will carry out the vetting process to the required level for the volunteer role. All applicants require two satisfactory character references. Ideally referees should be known to the applicant in a leadership capacity, either as a current or previous; employer, volunteer manager, community leader, teacher/tutor, client or healthcare professional. At least one referee needs to have known the applicant for a minimum of two years. Where an applicant, owing to personal circumstances, is not able to provide two referees known in a leadership capacity, an individual of local standing within the applicant’s community may be used, even if the referee is known to the applicant in more of a personal way, such as a long-term friend. We will, however, not accept family members (including partners) as valid referees. Where a volunteer role includes interacting with 7 patients and carrying out regulated activity we will also apply for a DBS Disclosure at either standard or enhanced level (appropriate to the role) for the individual. Where roles require a DBS disclosure, a repeat application must be completed every three years. A new DBS disclosure check will be submitted with the relevant Volunteering Manager each time a check is required even if an applicant or volunteer has subscribed to the DBS update service. 2.6 Successful applicants need to complete all required elements of the vetting process satisfactorily before they can attend a Core Training session or in the case of Charity Champions, receive the Welcome Pack ahead of events they are supporting. Once Core Training is completed volunteers can start their role. Where either a reference or a DBS disclosure reveals information, decisions as to suitability will be taken on a case by case basis via a vetting assessment carried out by the Head of Volunteering and approved by the Chief Executive of Imperial Health Charity. Where an existing volunteer wishes to apply for additional roles or change a role, they will need to complete any different required vetting procedures for the new role as outlined in section 25. Changing Roles. This may include requesting references where we have no previous references on record. 2.7 Employees of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust or Imperial Health Charity who also want to volunteer can apply for any advertised roles. However, as an alternative to requesting two references employees will be asked to provide the details of their direct line manager for the relevant Volunteering Manager to send out the Line Manager Approval form. Employees should seek the approval of their Line Manager before applying for a volunteer role. Employees will also need to complete a DBS check, if applicable to the role. Employees applying to volunteer are welcome to attend a Volunteer Core Training Day or alternatively they may submit evidence of their Core Skills Training completion and complete a 2-3 hour briefing with the relevant Volunteering Manager before starting in their role.
3.1 All new volunteers complete an Induction Journey to ensure volunteers receive training and initial guidance, appropriate to their role. The Induction Journey also helps us check that volunteers are placed in the right role for them. 3.2 For standard hospital-based roles the Volunteer Induction Journey consists of the following elements: 1) Core Training Session 2) Role Specific Training (as required, some of which may be ‘on the job’) 3) Induction checklist 4) Three Month Review Meeting with Volunteering Manager Elements of this Volunteer Induction Journey will look different for volunteers carrying out the Charity Champion role, Summer element of our Youth Volunteering Programme or where NHS Trust staff members take on a volunteer role alongside their paid employment. These variations are described below. 3.3 With the exception of Charity Champion volunteers, all volunteers are required to attend a one-day Core Training session which covers all essential information that volunteers should be aware of before they start in their role. Volunteers are not permitted to start volunteering until they have attended a Core Training session. Core Training for volunteers covers all the safety topics required for volunteers as agreed between Imperial Health Charity and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Core Training is also designed to welcome new volunteers, ensure they are aware of the support available to them, and communicate our expectations of volunteers. Our Volunteer Agreement is also affirmed during Core Training where volunteers are asked to sign to acknowledge that they have read and are willing to commit to its expectations. 3.4 In addition to the Core Training Session, there may be a need for Role Specific Training, which covers important information regarding the volunteers’ specific environment and the activities they will undertake in their role. This may happen in the form of an add-on to the Core Training session, a one-off Training Session organised with as much notice as possible or will take place as part of site 8 orientation on volunteer’s first shift. Additional relevant training may be offered after this session if deemed appropriate and valuable. 3.5 The first three months is a key part of the induction process. Imperial Health Charity provide volunteers with an induction checklist which captures the operational, and site-based learning in addition to the elements covered in the Core Training session. It is expected that new volunteers will be able to work through this checklist during their first three months with support from their Volunteer Supervisor and the appropriate Volunteering Manager. 3.6 At the end of a volunteer’s first three months, the appropriate Volunteering Manager will organise a review meeting with the volunteer to discuss how they are getting on in the role, review the induction checklist, recognise and thank them for their contribution so far and relay any comments or feedback from the Volunteer Supervisor. Where concerns are raised either by the volunteer or their Volunteer Supervisor, these can be discussed, and appropriate actions agreed to resolve them. For more information, or serious issues please see section 14. Problem Solving. 3.7 Charity Champion volunteers are not required to complete a Core Training Session, instead a Welcome Pack with induction activities will be issued for new volunteers to complete before their first engagement in the role. The Welcome Pack contains all the relevant information to ensure they can volunteer safely and support our events and activities effectively. 3.8 NHS Trust and Charity employees coming into a volunteer role have the option to either; • attend a Core Training Session, or; • provide evidence, by way of valid certificates, that they have completed the relevant Core Skills e-learning courses and attend a two-hour briefing with the relevant Volunteering Manager. 3.9 Summer Youth Volunteering Programme participants are not usually required to complete a minimum of six months, and most will complete their minimum requirement of 30 hours within two months. In this instance, volunteers may not be offered the three month review meeting element as their Volunteer Induction Journey will be completed in a shorter time period. Volunteers on this programme will still complete all of the other elements of the standard Volunteer Induction Journey.
Support for Volunteers 4.1 The first point of call for support for volunteers will be a named member of NHS Trust staff identified as the Volunteer Supervisor. The Supervisor for each role will be made clear through the appointment and induction process. The Volunteer Supervisor is responsible for providing role specific training, compiling any rotas for volunteers, and can answer queries relating to the department or role. During the Induction Journey, the Volunteer Supervisor should also introduce other members of the team that can be called upon for day to day enquiries. Any issues or incidents that arise whilst volunteering should be escalated to the Volunteer Supervisor in the first instance. 4.2 Each hospital site has a dedicated Volunteering Manager, employed by Imperial Health Charity, working in the Volunteering Department. Their role is to monitor and develop volunteering within the Trust at their specified site. This includes the recording of volunteers’ hours, monitoring nonattendance, listening to and acting on volunteer feedback (where possible), providing ways to reward and recognise volunteers and work with Trust staff to create roles and recruit volunteers. The names and contact details of the Volunteering Manager for each site are published in the Volunteer Handbook. 4.3 The Volunteering Manager can assist volunteers with any problems, including those that the volunteer feels they are unable to discuss with their Volunteer Supervisor, or where the Supervisor has left, or they have witnessed events which may be upsetting or cause distress. Volunteers can also use the Trust’s confidential counselling, stress management and mediation service, CONTACT: 9 • To book at Charing Cross or Hammersmith Hospitals call 020 331 32747 • To book at St. Mary’s Hospital call 020 331 21519 4.4 The Volunteering Manager can also give advice to volunteers wishing to take a break from volunteering or change their role, as outlined in section 25. Changing Roles and 26. Taking a Break Support for Staff 4.5 The Volunteering Department will work in partnership with Trust staff to create roles, recruit, train and support volunteers in their team. Resources are available to help staff identify appropriate tasks and roles that volunteers could undertake, to encourage departments to involve volunteers. Our core principle when creating volunteer roles is that volunteers must only be engaged to add value to the work of paid staff, should never be used to cut costs, replace paid jobs, or cover gaps in staffing. 4.6 The Volunteering Manager at each site holds regular ‘Working with Volunteers’ briefing sessions for Trust staff, promoting best practice in the support and management of volunteers. It is strongly recommended that all Volunteer Supervisors attend this session, before volunteers begin in their team. 4.7 Volunteer Supervisors can seek advice from the Volunteering Manager, when wishing to start problem solving procedures with a volunteer or if faced with a challenging situation. Please see section 14. Problem Solving
5.1 Health and Safety in a hospital environment is relevant to everyone, including volunteers.
Volunteers must take care of their own safety, and that of others, at all times. Volunteers must
report all hazards, risks and incidents in the appropriate way, as outlined in section 13. Incident
Reporting. The Health and Safety section of this policy is split into three key areas- Infection
Control, Fire and Manual Handling. Relevant Trust policies have also been reviewed and taken into
consideration throughout this section, a full list of relevant Trust policies that have been consulted
can be found in Appendix 1 at the end of this document.
5. Health and Safety: Infection Control
5.2 Reducing the risk of infection is a key priority for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and
Imperial Health Charity. All staff, volunteers, patients and visitors have a role to play in effective
5.3 Imperial Health Charity has adapted the World Health Organisation’s ‘Five Moments of Hand
Hygiene’ guidance to help volunteers identify when they should wash their hands. The ‘Five
Moments of Handwashing’ is published in the Volunteer Handbook and is discussed in Core
Training for volunteers which is used alongside practical training in the seven steps of handwashing.
5.4 Volunteers should be aware of the importance of hand hygiene and should be able to inform
patients and visitors of this importance, to be able to support Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust
staff to implement this policy. Regular handwashing is strongly recommended especially after eating
or using toilet facilities. Charity Champions going into a hospital to support an event will be provided
with hand sanitiser gel, where not readily available in the event space.
Preparing for hand hygiene in Clinical Environments
5.5 As part of Core Training and included in the Volunteer Handbook, all volunteers are instructed that
when entering a clinical area, everyone, including them, should ensure they have done the
• Removed their coats/jackets/ties
• Removed any wrist and/or hand jewellery (with the exception of plain wedding bands)
• Removed wrist watches and roll up shirt sleeves
• Covered any cuts, abrasions or scratches with a waterproof dressing
What to Clean your Hands With
5.6 Volunteers are instructed that alcohol hand rub is an effective method of hand hygiene. Hand gel
dispensers can be found:
• On each inpatient bed/trolley
• Outside each single room and bay
• By the entrance to the ward
• On the walls in public areas of the hospital
5.7 If these dispensers are empty, or not present at all, volunteers are asked to inform a member of
NHS Trust staff who will escalate this to the appropriate team for re-fill or replacement.
6. Health and Safety: Fire 6.1 The Volunteering Department will provide all volunteers with current and correct training in Fire Safety at Core Training. Volunteer Supervisors should brief volunteers in the local area fire evacuation procedures. 6.2 The relevant duties as stated in the Trust’s Fire Safety policy require volunteers to: • Comply with all safety and operational procedures relating to their role and workplace • Attend relevant training • Inform their Volunteering Manager if they have not received any training • Report any unsafe conditions or activities to their Volunteer Supervisor and Volunteering Manager • Use any fire safety measures or devices provided in line with the training they have received • Do not interfere with or misuse any item that relates to fire safety 6.3 Volunteers are instructed at Core Training and via the Volunteer Handbook that they are not required to provide any assistance in the event of fire or evacuation. In the event of evacuation due to fire, volunteers should evacuate as instructed in the same way as visitors.
7. Health and Safety: Manual Handling 7.1 Manual handling, defined as any activity which involves the lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing, pulling or supporting of any load either by hand or bodily force, is a common part of working in hospitals. 7.2 Volunteers must never be in a position where they are involved in moving patients, in any situation unless specific training has been completed. This would include pushing patients in wheelchairs. 13 7.3 All volunteers receive basic instruction in the safe lifting and moving of boxes in the Core Training session. The core principles of which are to test the weight of item before lifting or moving it and keeping their back straight and knees bent to avoid injury. Volunteers are encouraged to conduct a dynamic risk assessment of their own abilities and factors within the environment before taking on any manual handling tasks. 7.4 Volunteers should refuse to participate in manual handling activities if they feel they are uncomfortable or unable to do so.
8.1 Imperial Health Charity is committed to providing equality of opportunity when developing, and supporting volunteering. All volunteers are valued and celebrated for their diverse and unique identity, background and contributions. Where possible local communities will be involved in the development of volunteer opportunities and recruitment processes. 8.2 Volunteers should reflect the diversity of communities they volunteer in and they have the right to volunteer in an environment which is free from discrimination. Types of discrimination include direct, indirect, disability discrimination and harassment. 8.3 If volunteers experience any form of discrimination or harassment, while volunteering, they have the right to raise a complaint and will be advised of the appropriate procedure. All complaints will be dealt with seriously, promptly and confidentially. 8.4 When representing Imperial Health Charity or the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, volunteers should support this commitment to equality, treating others with dignity and respect and not discriminate against them. 8.5 Volunteers, and everyone involved with the Trust or Charity, would be expected to uphold the policy that discriminatory behaviour is unacceptable, and concerns should be reported to a member of staff. 8.6 Imperial Health Charity will make every effort to ensure that discrimination does not occur. Where volunteers have additional needs reasonable adjustments will be sought to ensure inclusivity for all. However, within a hospital environment, and given the limitations of our estate due to its age, reasonable adjustments may not always be possible.
9.1 Imperial Health Charity has a comprehensive insurance policy in place, including Public Liability insurance cover. The cover provided by the Public Liability Policy is at least £5 million. 9.2 Volunteers are covered under the Group Personal Accident section of the insurance, in case a volunteer should experience ‘Accidental bodily injury’ that ‘results in death or disablement’. This covers any injury sustained whilst volunteering, (defined in the Insurance Policy as ‘any unpaid activity organised by The Policyholder’) or travelling to one of the hospital sites. Details of the benefits available can be found in the latest policy document, upon request. 9.3 We would expect that where a volunteer makes a claim in relation to an accident that occurs whilst volunteering, there is evidence that they signed in for their shift using the attendance register and recorded the accident according to the accident reporting process in the location they volunteer.
10.1 Boundaries are important to ensure that staff and volunteers carry out our work or duties according
to agreed expectations and ensures that everyone receives the same quality service or experience.
Boundaries set the parameters of what is and is not acceptable behaviour within both an Imperial
11.1 Imperial Health Charity’s commitment to and duties regarding safeguarding reflects the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust’s commitment to a duty of care for both children and young people and adults (over 18 years old) from the risk of abuse or neglect. The Trust’s Safeguarding Vision is: “to achieve the best possible outcomes for children and vulnerable adults through ensuring that their voices are heard, and that early intervention ensures their safety and wellbeing. This will be achieved through effective, united multi agency team working and engendering a culture where safeguarding is at the forefront of our care”. Safeguarding Children and Young People Declaration – July 2017 11.2 The multi-agency approach includes volunteers, and the understanding is that ‘safeguarding is everyone’s business’ (Care Quality Commission, June 2015). Volunteers should have the information to recognise signs of abuse or neglect and how to report any concerns of actual and/or potential abuse or neglect. 11.3 For the purpose of this policy safeguarding is defined as measures and structures to respond to the act, or failure to act, which may cause harm to an individual. Harm includes violence, abuse, exploitation and neglect, and need not have been witnessed first-hand, nor a full disclosure been made. If a volunteer suspects a child, young person or an adult with care and support needs is at risk of abuse or neglect the following process should be used to report it. 11.4 Safeguarding also includes good and safe volunteering practices which ensures protection from allegations. While the aim of this policy is to provide an awareness of this, it is up to the individual to ensure they protect themselves by dynamically assessing their own volunteer environments. Support and guidance on this best practice can be provided by Imperial Health Charity or your 16 Volunteer Supervisor, and volunteers must always refer to the specific role description and risk assessments for more detailed guidance and information. 11.5 Volunteers should be aware of and know how to access Imperial Health Charity’s Safeguarding Policy, which applies to all staff, volunteers, trustees and all other personnel associated with our work. 11.6 Volunteers should be aware of the environment in which they are volunteering to ensure safeguarding practice is being upheld. While appropriate documentation is put in place, safeguarding yourself is ALWAYS the individual’s responsibility. 11.7 The following outlines good practice in relation to safeguarding that all volunteers are asked to follow: • Always wear your ID pass with volunteer lanyard and name badge when on shift – this allows everyone to know who you are and that you are a properly appointed volunteer with Imperial Health Charity. • Always ensure your volunteering takes place in a public place – by this we mean in main hospital entrances, thoroughfares, shops, waiting areas or in open ward areas. If your role requires you to be in a private room with a patient we advise you leave the door open where possible or, where not, always go in pairs – be that with another volunteer or member of staff. • Never make physical contact with a patient if it can be avoided. If your role requires any level of physical patient contact appropriate role specific training will be provided with accompanying risk assessments. • Never share any personal information with a patient or visitor – refer to section 10. Boundaries. Please see the following section, 12. Lone Working, for further guidance on ensuring personal safety and wellbeing. Reporting Concerns 11.8 Abuse and neglect can take many forms. The view of what constitutes neglect should not be constrained to personal opinions, and should always consider the circumstances of the individual case. 11.9 Volunteers are encouraged to report ANY concerns with regards to the safeguarding of children, young people or adults at risk (over the age of 18). 11.10 The below process for reporting should be followed if abuse or neglect is suspected or, if a patient or visitor, makes a full disclosure of actual abuse or neglect. 11.11 If you suspect that a patient or visitor to the hospital is subject to abuse or neglect, including observations of physical, verbal or emotional abuse, you should: • Immediately report these concerns to a member of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust staff. • Remember that safeguarding is everyone’s responsibility so do not assume someone else will report it. • Keep in mind that a written account of your observations may be required so try to keep the details accurate and precise. • Speak to your Volunteering Manager about what has happened, as the experience may have been unsettling, uncomfortable or upsetting. This would not constitute a breach of confidentiality. 17 The diagram below shows the process for reporting a part or full disclosure of abuse or neglect, should someone approach a volunteer.
12.1 Lone working applies to volunteers who are alone when they volunteer or volunteer in the community, on behalf of Imperial Health Charity. As a definition, lone working should also include any activity volunteers are involved in which is outside one of the five Trust Hospital sites. 12.2 A lone worker is therefore defined as any volunteer involved in an approved volunteering activity with clear role description but who is without direct supervision in a hospital building or in the community. 12.3 Imperial Health Charity recognises there are some additional risks associated with volunteers undertaking tasks by themselves. As such all lone working is avoided where possible and where lone working cannot be avoided, safe working is facilitated by undertaking risk assessments to identify hazards, assess risk and put appropriate control measures in place; such as enhanced training. 12.4 As part of Lone Working best practice all volunteers are advised to consult with their role specific risk assessment, but the following guidelines should also be followed to mitigate and reduce any risks involved in lone working: • Check in with volunteer supervisor or event contact when you arrive and begin volunteering, either by email or phone, and again when you have finished volunteering and arrive home safely • Have regular debrief meetings with staff to record hours and report any incidents and concerns Working alone away from the office or from home 12.5 Instructions and guidance to manage the risks associated with lone working is provided to volunteers who require it by the relevant Volunteering Manager. 12.6 Volunteers are also advised to consider the section 11. Safeguarding (paragraph 11.5) to ensure that there is an understanding of best practice
13.1 All being well, nothing will go wrong, but volunteers should feel confident when reporting incidents. All reported incidents will be taken seriously and investigated. Those who report incidents will not be subject to victimisation. 13.2 If a volunteer wishes to raise a concern it should be reported to their Volunteer Supervisor, or a member of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust staff, as soon as possible. It is then the staff’s responsibility to assess the need to escalate, formally document the problem (via DATIX) or involve other staff members to assist. Measures may then be undertaken to make changes to improve services or estates, where a genuine need is identified. If a volunteer feels unable to approach Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust staff then they can seek guidance from the Volunteering Manager at their hospital site. 13.3 Imperial Health Charity do not expect volunteers to be subject to abusive behaviour or language from patients, visitors, staff or other volunteers while they are volunteering. If anything of this nature occurs, and is reported promptly, the on-site Security team is on hand to intervene. 13.4 Examples of incidents and concerns that should be reported include: • witnessing or suffering slips, trips and falls • near misses • abusive behaviour or language from patients, visitors, staff or volunteers • anything that poses a danger to Health and Safety 19 • criminal offences • breach of legal obligation • miscarriage of justice • damage to the environment • a deliberate attempt to conceal any of the above • a data protection breach 13.5 Incidents that involve volunteers will be investigated fully by both the Volunteering Manager and the Volunteer Supervisor, in line with the reporting process for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Should volunteers be injured as a result of an incident that occurred while they were volunteering, they may be able to make a claim for benefits as per the Imperial Health Charity’s insurance policy, details of which can be found in section 9. Insurance of this policy. Whistleblowing 13.6 The following information is taken directly from the Trust’s Raising Concerns (Whistleblowing) Policy, which volunteers will be referred to if they wish to raise concerns, as described below. If a volunteer reasonably believes one or more of the following matters is happening, has taken place, or is likely to happen in the future, then they should follow the whistleblowing instructions described below: • A danger to the health and safety of any individual, or group of individuals, whether employees, patient or any other person on Trust premises, including mistreatment of other workers; • A criminal offence; • The breach of a legal obligation; • A miscarriage of justice; • Damage to the environment; • A deliberate attempt to conceal any of the above. 13.7 Wherever possible volunteers should discuss concerns with their Volunteer Supervisor or their manager. Where this is not appropriate, confidential advice is available from the Trust Freedom To Speak Up Guardians: email@example.com or 07500225733
14.1 Imperial Health Charity wants all volunteers to enjoy their involvement and through regular interaction with Volunteer Supervisors and Volunteering Managers, feel supported to discuss and resolve any day-to-day queries or problems as they arise. Volunteering Managers will, where possible, use informal procedures to address any concerns, however, on some occasions where a problem arises which cannot be sorted out using an informal approach (or perhaps when informal approaches have not worked) a more formal route to solving the issue may be needed. 14.2 There are three areas where this problem-solving process may be applied: • Capability e.g. a volunteer’s ability to undertake the role; • Performance e.g. how well volunteers are performing in a role; • Conduct e.g. a volunteer’ behaviours when volunteering. Stage 1- Informal resolution 14.3 For use when staff need to have a conversation with a volunteer, about their capability, performance or conduct. 1. Where appropriate, the Volunteering Manager and/or Volunteer Supervisor will speak to the person raising the concern and document the nature of the concern 2. The Volunteering Manager and/or Volunteer Supervisor will give the volunteer an opportunity to comment on the concern raised about them, providing their account of any events that have taken place 20 3. Based on the findings from any conversations, a joint meeting may be called to discuss the situation with all parties to identify ways to resolve the issue • Potential solutions could include, being offering additional training or refresher training, having a mentor, revising the Role Description, changing to a different role or transferring to another hospital site (within the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust) 4. Once a possible solution is agreed upon it will be implemented and reviewed after a set time e.g. three months 5. If the solution is not resolved after this time formal action may be taken Stage 2 - Formal Action 14.4 For use when informal discussion and resolutions are not appropriate or have not been successful 1. The volunteer will be invited to have a ‘conversation of concern’ meeting with the Volunteering Manager and the Volunteer Supervisor to address the issue. A record of this will be shared with the volunteer and kept on file with the Volunteering Department. 2. A solution will be agreed, to be implemented with a deadline set, for reviewing progress made. The possible solutions remain the same as described above in 14.3.3. Stage 3 - End of Volunteer Involvement 14.5 For use where no improvement has been seen in the behaviours of the volunteer involved with the incident or where the volunteer has not engaged in the Problem-Solving procedure 1. If no progress is made to address the issue during the period stated in the ‘conversation of concern’ volunteers will be asked to end their volunteering involvement once the deadline is reached 2. If volunteers have not engaged in the process this far they may have their volunteer role closed with immediate effect, this will include where a volunteer refuses to engage in the Problem-Solving process. Police Investigation 14.6 In the event that an allegation that a volunteer has committed a serious criminal act is brought to the attention of the Volunteering Manager, volunteers will be immediately suspended from volunteering, pending the outcome of the official Police investigation. If convicted and the nature of the criminal offence would affect their suitability to carry out their role, then the volunteer’s role will be closed immediately (see section 2. Selection and Vetting). Right to Appeal 14.7 A volunteer whose role is closed following the completion of the Problem-Solving process, and who disagrees with the outcome, may appeal against the process. Only one appeal is allowed and will be heard by the Head of Volunteering, another senior manager within the charity or the Chief Executive. 14.8 The manager hearing the appeal will review the facts of the case and identify how the ProblemSolving process was managed, and whether any elements were handled inappropriately. If a volunteer’s role is closed as a result of the Problem-Solving process being followed in full, it is unlikely that an appeal would overturn the original decision. 14.10 Any of the following types of behaviour would normally lead to an automatic closure of a volunteer’s role and an end to their involvement as a volunteer by Imperial Health Charity, unless there are genuine mitigating circumstances which may be taken into account. Volunteering Managers are 21 asked to follow this guidance. The following are examples of gross misconduct but this list is not exhaustive: • Wilful misconduct or deliberate failure to comply with Imperial Health Charity or Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust policies, procedures, regulations or practices such that the safety of the volunteer, patients, staff, visitors or other volunteers is jeopardised • Theft, fraud, deliberate falsification of records, deceit or other dishonesty equivalent to theft • Demanding, accepting or offering financial or other inducements either from/to other volunteers or any patient, visitor or staff member • Possession of firearms or any other weapons • Actual or threatened assault upon any fellow volunteer, patient, visitor, or staff member • Wilful disclosure of any confidential information relating to patients, other volunteers or staff • Wilful damage to and/or misuse of hospital property or premises, or gross negligence resulting in damage or loss of property • Serious incapability through alcohol or being under the influence of illegal drugs • Serious negligence which causes unacceptable loss, damage or injury 14.11 If a volunteer is accused of an act of gross misconduct, the Volunteering Manager or Volunteer Supervisor may suspend the volunteer whilst an investigation takes place, depending on the nature of the role. During any investigations volunteers will be asked to return their Trust ID and uniform items and may only come into the hospital for a medical appointment. The volunteer should also inform the Volunteering Manager if they do need to attend the hospital. A breach of this may interfere with a pending investigation. If, after the investigation, the Volunteering Manager concludes that gross misconduct has occurred the volunteer will be asked to leave with immediate effect and informed by letter. If it is concluded that gross misconduct has not taken place then the Volunteering Manager will use the Problem-Solving procedure to manage the next steps with the volunteer. 14.12 On being asked to end volunteer involvement, volunteers must immediately return their ID pass, name badge and any uniform items issued.
15.1 If volunteers or Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust staff have feedback or complaints regarding Volunteering, these can be passed onto the Volunteering Department either in person, via phone or email. All complaints will be taken seriously and handled professionally. Where possible, Imperial Health Charity will work with hospital teams to implement suggestions made, where a genuine need for change has been identified. 15.2 If volunteers receive feedback or complaints from patients, or visitors, about Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust staff or services, they can direct them to the following sources of information and support as detailed on the website: https://www.imperial.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/feedbackcompliments-and-complaints • Patient Advice and Liaison Services within the hospitals (PALS) • Friends and Family Test • NHS choices • Healthwatch Central West http://healthwatchcwl.co.uk/ • Trust Complaints Department (Formal complaints) 15.3 Informal complaints will be directed to the PALS service within the hospital sites. Formal complaints will be handled by the Complaints Departments either via email or in writing by post: ICHC-TR.COMPLAINTS@NHS.NET Complaints department 4th floor Salton House St Mary’s Hospital Praed Street London W2 1NY 22 15.4 Volunteers wishing to make a complaint about a member of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust staff or another volunteer should contact their Volunteering Manager. 15.5 Volunteers, patients or visitors wishing to make a complaint about Imperial Health Charity staff can contact the Volunteering Department, or the Charity directly. 15.6 Should volunteers, patients or visitors want to commend a member of staff, they can nominate them for an award in the Make a Difference staff awards. https://www.imperial.nhs.uk/patients-and-visitors/feedback-compliments-and-complaints/make-adifference 15.7 For volunteers that have shown outstanding contributions please see the 27. Recognition Awards and Thank You Events section.
What is personal data? 16.1 Personal data is information that identifies an individual, such as date of birth or address. It can also be information that reveals something about a person. For example, an email address, contact preferences, or the reason why volunteers want to volunteer with us. Information may also be held on those who have volunteered with Imperial Health Charity before, or who have supported the Trust or Charity in another way. Whatever the connection is to an individual, personal information will be treated with respect and privacy and will only be processed when there is a legitimate reason to do so. 16.2 Volunteers should respect the privacy of patients they interact with in the hospitals, the donors and supporters of Imperial Health Charity and that of Trust and Charity staff. Personal data should not be shared either directly or indirectly, including conversations that may be overheard. How volunteer’s information is used 16.3 Imperial Health Charity will gather and store personal information when applications to volunteer are submitted. The information requested will be relevant to the role being applied for, to ensure the opportunity is suited to the individual applying (including meeting any mobility and disability requirements and addressing any conflicts of interest). The information that is requested through the application process is all of the information required in order to make a decision as to suitability, as well as continue a successful applicant’s journey through the appointments process to the point of commencing in a volunteer role. Additional requests for information will not be made if an applicant is successful, in order to appoint them, unless there are gaps or inaccuracies identified in the application. 16.4 Examples of the information requested include the people who can provide references for those applying for roles, dietary requirements and information about health and wellbeing. As most volunteering roles with Imperial Health Charity take place within a hospital, gathering this information is necessary to ensure individuals being placed in roles will not be put at any unnecessary risk. The information given on an application form will be used to determine the suitability of that role for that individual. 16.5 Depending on the role applied for it may be necessary to undertake a DBS disclosure. If this is the case it will be clearly stated in the volunteer role description. DBS disclosures will only be requested when this is a legal requirement based on the role or location of the role that has been applied for. Providing the best volunteering experience possible 16.6 Once applicants are successful and become volunteers with Imperial Health Charity the personal information that was provided will be used to deliver a high-quality experience including the safety of 23 volunteers and access to information and learning opportunities relevant to the volunteer role being undertaken. 16.7 Volunteers can expect regular communication from the Volunteering Department, either by email or post. 16.8 If it is suspected that a data breach has occurred, this should be reported immediately to the relevant Volunteering Manager. To see the impact of the support from volunteers 16.9 As a charity it is important that money and resources are used effectively and efficiently. Details that volunteers provide enable Imperial Health Charity to understand why people are motivated to become volunteers and what support needs to be in place to enable volunteers to be involved. 16.10 Demographic information that volunteers provide may be used to provide anonymous statistics about employees and volunteers both internally to report progress or to potential funders as appropriate. 16.11 Usually once a year volunteers will be asked to provide feedback on experiences volunteering with us. There is no mandatory requirement to take part but results from the survey inform practises of the Volunteering Department, highlighting what is being done well and where improvements can be made. This in turn means that volunteering opportunities being offered will be meaningful and enjoyable for volunteers as well as having a positive impact for the hospitals and patients. To promote the work of Imperial Health Charity volunteers 16.12 To help promote volunteering roles with Imperial Health Charity promotional materials such as photos and videos may be produced to help give potential volunteers an insight into what volunteering is like. Volunteers will be asked if they would be willing to participate in such activities and can chose not to be included in photographs and videos. Where volunteers do consent, the purpose of the marketing will be stated clearly, which may include display on the Imperial Health Charity website, social media platforms and newsletters. Images and footage where volunteers are identifiable will not be used for any other purpose without prior consent. Volunteers can update their preferences regarding filming and photography at any time. 16.13 Anonymous statistics about volunteer participation may be created and shared with relevant and appropriate partners to highlight the scope, impact and growth of the volunteering programme. Sending information about other ways to get involved 16.14 Volunteers provide incredible support to patients, staff and visitors as part of their roles. Where possible volunteers will be kept up to date on the latest news from Imperial Health Charity and the amazing work and achievements of the Charity, including the Arts and Grants programmes and how volunteers can do more to help with fundraising and events or other volunteering opportunities. 16.15 Part of the application process includes questions on whether applicants and volunteers want to hear about the wider work of Imperial Health Charity, and preferred formats of delivery. Where consent is given volunteers will be sent news and kept up to date by email, SMS, telephone, post or social media as to how they can support the charity in different ways. These preferences can be updated at any time. Sharing volunteers’ information 16.16 Imperial Health Charity will never sell volunteers information to other charities or organisations. 16.17 Where volunteer roles are based within an NHS team, information will be shared with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust about volunteers, including contact information, so that NHS staff can keep in touch and best support volunteers to carry out their roles. 24 16.18 Where volunteer roles are based within a partner organisation such as the Friends or another charity, information about volunteer roles and contact information will be shared with that partner so they can keep in touch with volunteers and best support volunteers to carry out their role. 16.19 Imperial Health Charity’s expectations around information sharing with agreed partners is set out in the Volunteer Agreement. 16.20 Sometimes, external suppliers may be used to provide services to ensure a fulfilling volunteer experience and engagement. For example, a mailing house may be instructed to send out the Volunteering Newsletter or other mass communication. Due diligence is taken on all of these organisations to ensure they have robust data protection and processing policies that meet with the standards and expectations of the Charity. This is to ensure that personal information is only processed for the purpose that it was collected, and done so in a safe and secure way. 16.21 Personal information will not be shared with any other organisation without consent from the individual other than: • With organisers of events being attended (as long as sharing this information is justified and lawful) • If required by law, for example if requested by the police and it is essential in the prevention or detection of a crime • If it is in the vital interest of a volunteer or another person, for example in a medical emergency Receiving information from third parties 16.22 Information from third parties will only be received if: • Someone has expressed an interest in volunteering with us through another organisation, for example volunteer centres, websites or an employer • As a result of seeking references through information provided by applicants of nominated referees • In response to a criminal records check 16.23 When this is the case, or in any unique circumstance not covered by the list above, volunteers will be informed that it has happened and told what kind of information the third party has provided. Storing personal information 16.24 Volunteers personal information is only kept for as long as it is needed and then it is disposed of securely. The length of time that information is held may depend on the purpose for which it was collected and used. 16.25 For applicants who are unsuccessful in becoming a volunteer, information will only be held for 12 months. For successful volunteers, information will be kept for up to six years after ending volunteer involvement, except where a volunteer has been asked to end a volunteer role as a part of the 14. Problem Solving procedure, especially where gross misconduct had occurred. In this instance, basic data will be kept indefinitely so that any future applications to volunteer within the Imperial Health Charity or Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust can be assessed appropriately. 16.26 Volunteers personal information is stored securely on Imperial Health Charity’s CRM database system, iMIS, which meets international security standards. Some information may be kept in a paper record format but where possible this will be transferred to an electronic record and the paper record will be disposed of securely. 16.27 Volunteers who have access to the internet may access their personal record securely online to update their details and communication preferences. Volunteers who do not have access to their record can send requests to make changes to the relevant Volunteering Manager. Volunteers are responsible for updating personal details such as name, address, email address, phone number and emergency contact either directly on the database or by informing the Volunteering Department. 25 Security and confidentiality 16.28 Confidentiality is of vital importance and care is taken to ensure the security of data when being used, stored or transmitted. Personal information is only accessed by people that have been verified and authorised to do so. Anyone who has access to volunteer’s personal information is obliged to respect that it is kept confidential and training is delivered to make sure this happens. Further rights 16.29 Individuals can get in touch at any time to: • See what information is held about them • Request a portable copy of the information held about them • Ask for corrections to be made • Ask for their data to stop being used in any way, other than for the purposes of communicating with volunteers about their volunteering, which is a condition of joining as a volunteer How to contact the Volunteering Department 16.30 For any questions regarding how we are using personal information please contact the Volunteering Department: • By phone on 020 3005 6391 • In writing to Volunteering Department, Imperial Health Charity, 178-180 Edgware Road, London W2 2DS • By email to firstname.lastname@example.org Complaints 16.31 If volunteers are unhappy with the processing of their personal information please contact the Volunteering Department using the details above. If volunteers are still unhappy after receiving a response, concerns can be raised with the Information Commissioner’s Office: https://ico.org.uk/ Information Governance and Patient Confidentiality 16.32 Volunteers are expected to uphold patient confidentiality at all times. This includes when in the hospital building, grounds and offices, as well as outside of the hospital. Details of patients, their conditions or treatments should not be disclosed or discussed with friends or family members at any time. 16.33 The Trust policy states that “Information Governance is a term that encompasses information security, patient and staff confidentiality, information sharing, clinical and organisational records management, data quality, and freedom of access to public information. Good information management is the organisational ability to protect sensitive personal information and use this information effectively and ethically for the purposes the information was collected. Information Governance helps ensure staff compliance with the law (e.g. Data Protection Act 1998 / Freedom of Information Act 2000) and Department of Health Guidelines and professional best practice when handling personal and patient information. It also allows staff to ensure that personal information is dealt with legally, securely, efficiently and effectively in order to deliver the best possible care. The Trust holds and protects sensitive personal identifiable information in accordance with the Caldicott principles and the Data Protection Act (1998)”. 16.34 Any volunteer with access to patient information or sensitive personal data via the Trust’s IT systems is required to complete Information Governance training during their three-month induction journey and annually thereafter. 16.35 All volunteers must be compliant with Information Governance principles to uphold patient confidentiality, and to help prevent data leakage and inappropriate sharing of data. These principles are covered in Core Training and Volunteer Handbook. 26 16.36 If it suspected that a data breach has occurred, this should be reported immediately to the relevant Volunteering Manager.
17.1 Volunteer Supervisors should communicate regularly with volunteers. Informing them of any updates or changes relevant to their role. In line with good practice in volunteer management, the Volunteering Department will consult with volunteers to gather their feedback and actively seek to involve them in their work. 17.2 Imperial Health Charity volunteers can expect to receive regular correspondence from the Volunteering Department, as set out in the Volunteer Agreement as well as more general updates and information about Imperial Health Charity. If a volunteer feels that they do not wish to receive these general Imperial Health Charity communications such as the Focus magazine, they must express this directly to their Volunteering Manager who will amend their communications preferences. Responsible use of social media 17.3 The following provides volunteers with guidelines and recommendations for using social media responsibly and safely. This refers to the posting of text, images and film. 17.4 Volunteers are personally responsible for what they communicate in social media. Volunteers should avoid social media communications that might be misconstrued in a way that could damage the reputation of the Imperial Health Charity or the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, even indirectly. Volunteers should not post anything offensive including discriminatory comments, insults or obscenity. Any posts that relates to Trust or Charity staff, or other volunteers should not be posted without their written permission. 17.5 If a volunteer discloses affiliation as a volunteer of the Trust or Charity, it must be stated that any views presented are personal do not represent those of the organisation. This should be done with a personal email address and written in the first person. 17.6 If volunteers are uncertain or concerned about the appropriateness of any statement or post, refrain from making the communication until it has been discussed with a Volunteering Manager. Any breach of these guidelines may be deemed gross misconduct and problem-solving procedures may be started. 17.7 Volunteers, are however, encouraged to like and share posts from the Trust and Charity Communications teams on any social media platform. Copyright, Intellectual Property and Photography 17.8 If a volunteer produces any original works for Imperial Health Charity while volunteering they will be asked to sign over the Intellectual Property Rights to the Charity. Examples of this include; photography, artwork and written work, including the results of research. 17.9 Photographs of volunteers carrying out their roles may be used for promotional purposes, for example in a leaflet or online. If a volunteer does not want their image to be used they should let their Volunteering Manager/Volunteer Supervisor or event photographer know at the time. Consent to take and use photography of volunteers is obtained as part of the application process, volunteers should let the Volunteering Department know if this preference changes during the course of their volunteering. 27 Patient Confidentiality 17.10 Under normal circumstances there are no grounds to disclose confidential or patient identifiable information to the media. In fact, doing so is a breach of both patient confidentiality and the Data Protection Act 1998. Such a disclosure could have implications for the Trust, and a criminal prosecution of the offending person. 17.11 Volunteers are not permitted to take photographs or videos of patients, unless explicitly requested by the Imperial Health Charity Communications team (who will ensure that the relevant consent has been granted). Any breach of this will be deemed as gross misconduct and problem-solving procedures will be started, whereby the volunteer will be suspended, pending investigation. Media Relations 17.12 No comments or stories should be given directly to the media, unless a volunteer role specifically includes talking to the press or other local media. Our media relations are handled by the Charity and Trust Communications teams, so any requests from the press should be referred to Trust or Charity staff. 17.13 Any comment made by a volunteer which directly or indirectly puts the Trust or Charity into disrepute will be deemed gross misconduct. Resulting in problem solving procedures being started, whereby the volunteer will be suspended pending investigation. Sources: Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust: Guidelines for engaging with Media Imperial Health Charity: Social Media Policy, Staff Handbook
18.1 Volunteers are entitled to claim genuine out of pocket expenses, incurred in their volunteer role. We reimburse out of pocket expenses for travel and refreshments for volunteers, as part of our commitment to providing equal opportunities for individuals to volunteer with us. What can be claimed? 18.2 Volunteers can claim for the cost of their travel to and from hospital sites, or the site of events run by the Imperial Health Charity. Travel claims are limited to up to £10 per day, only on days when volunteering has occurred. Where possible this should be by the cheapest or most efficient mode of transport, ideally public transport (including bus, train and underground). The maximum amount that can be claimed will be reviewed in line with any increase in prices that Transport for London implement. The current allowance is based on daily price caps when travelling within Transport for London zones 1-4. 18.3 Claims can also be submitted for refreshments purchased whilst volunteering. Refreshments may include hot or cold drinks, snacks and sandwiches up to the value of £5 per day. 18.4 Expenses will not be reimbursed: • Without production of a valid receipt • In advance • For travel where a concessionary pass is used for free travel • For travel where a season ticket/pass is used, and therefore the volunteer has not incurred any additional cost • Cycling or any other self-propelled mode of transport • For any fines incurred, including traffic and parking violations 18.5 Subject to agreement and in circumstances where public transport isn't available or suitable the following will be reimbursed, up to a maximum of £10 per day: • Vehicle mileage of 30p per mile • Car Parking • Taxi, in exceptional circumstances 28 Submitting a claim 18.6 To make a claim, volunteers must be able to produce the valid receipts for each item and journey, for which the claim relates, and must have signed in using the Volunteer Attendance Register at their hospital site (or event starting point). For Oyster Card and Contactless payment card use, a printed statement from an online account is required. Volunteers must then complete a Volunteer Expenses Form and submit both the form and the receipts, to the Volunteering Office at their hospital site or to the central office address below, within one month of incurring the expenses. Payment will be made via BACS to the specified account, usually within two weeks. Once a claim has been authorised by the Volunteering Manager, payments can also be collected in cash from the Cashiers within the hospital, on presentation of the signed, authorised Expenses Form (at Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospitals only). Volunteering Department Imperial Health Charity 178-180 Edgware Road London W2 2DS
19.1 If volunteers are offered high value or extravagant gifts from patients or visitors it is recommended that they kindly refuse. Gifts can imply favouritism and could increase the feeling of expectation upon the volunteer. Gifts that can be shared with the team, such as chocolates, may be accepted but it is advised that this is checked with NHS Trust or Charity staff. 19.2 Where appropriate volunteers can suggest that patients and visitors consider making a donation to Imperial Health Charity, specifying a ward or department at their discretion. 19.3 NHS Trust staff who wish to give a gift to a volunteer should first consult with the relevant Volunteering Manager to discuss ways to reward and recognise volunteers either formally, through the Make A Difference Volunteering Awards scheme, or informally. 19.4 Volunteers should not give gifts to patients under any circumstances.
20.1 When volunteers leave (providing they have completed the minimum commitment agreed when starting) the Volunteering Department will provide them with a standard reference detailing their volunteer role(s) and the dates they volunteered along with a brief explanation of any training received. The Volunteering Department is unable to respond to requests for references where we have been provided as a referee on an application, after they have finished volunteering. 20.2 Volunteer Supervisors may provide more detailed references relating to the specific tasks and contribution made by volunteers or act as referees for career/educational applications. However, this is entirely at their discretion and volunteers must agree this with them before listing them as a referee. With the agreement of the Volunteer Supervisor this can be done after the volunteer has a left a role. 20.3 If a reference is required while an individual is still volunteering with us, upon request from the volunteer we can provide a standard reference detailing the volunteer’s role and time spent with us. The Volunteering Department is unable to respond to requests for references where we have been provided as a referee on an application.
21.1 Each volunteer role must have a Role Description in place before any recruitment activities can start or volunteers are appointed to that role, this then forms part of the agreement that volunteers adhere to when joining. A volunteer Role Description should describe the purpose of the role along with the key tasks and responsibilities, including any boundaries or limitations of the role. When producing role descriptions for recruitment purposes the main skills, experience and qualities that the role would look for will also be outlined. Role descriptions will also include the required times and desired minimum length of commitment for the role. 21.2 Volunteers are recruited on a needs-based approach, working with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust teams, Charity staff or partner organisations to develop roles according to operational needs, aligned with Imperial Health Charity’s core principles for volunteering. Individuals who approach wishing to volunteer will be directed to currently advertised vacancies. Bespoke requests cannot be accommodated for roles that either do not exist or are not currently being advertised, either from prospective volunteers or NHS Trust teams and partner organisations. 21.3 Volunteer roles are created in partnership with the relevant teams and agreed by the Volunteering Department. Trust staff are encouraged to direct individuals interested in volunteering to our current vacancies. Trust staff are asked not to commit themselves to offering an individual a role as a volunteer, if approached. All requests to volunteer should be directed through the Volunteering Department, and in the first instance via our website at: www.imperialcharity.org.uk/volunteering. 21.4 As part of the Volunteer Agreement, the expectation is that volunteers will carry out their role, as described in the Role Description, to the best of their ability, at the times agreed when appointed. Volunteers should not carry out any tasks not included in their Role Description which conflict with the boundaries for volunteers, as described during core training sessions and outlined in the 10. Boundaries section of this policy. Where a volunteer is no longer able to meet the time commitment in their Role Description they should speak to the Volunteering Manager for their hospital to discuss their options. 21.5 Roles will be reviewed annually with Trust staff to ensure that the tasks are still relevant and appropriate, and to ensure that current volunteers (in that role) are still operating within that agreed Role Description.
22.1 Public or patient facing volunteers are issued with uniform items so they can be easily identified by patients, visitors and staff in and around the hospital. Where issued, volunteers are required to wear their uniform at all times when volunteering within the hospitals. 22.2 Uniform for hospital-based volunteers consists of: • a purple short-sleeved top, with a choice of either a shirt/blouse or polo shirt • a green volunteer lanyard to carry Trust ID • a name badge • for roles in main entranceways/colder parts of the hospital, a purple or grey long-sleeved jacket may also be provided Volunteers may also be issued with team specific identifying badges and/or language prompt badges to assist patients, visitors and staff to interact with them. Volunteers must not wear any other branded items such as lanyards or badges, other than where agreed with their Volunteering Manager in the Volunteering Department. Volunteers may wear any length of service or Make A Difference awards badges where earned. 30 Uniform issued to Charity Champion volunteers on the day of an event may consist of: • Green Charity Champion volunteer t-shirt • Volunteer lanyard with Charity Champion name tag • A purple high-visibility vest, if necessary • Foam finger, where useful 22.3 Volunteers are expected to wash and take care of their uniform, following the care instructions provided. Imperial Health Charity will not resource cleaning of any uniform garments, except where excessive soiling occurs in the course of a volunteer's role, e.g. if a patient vomits on a volunteer. Charity Champion volunteers are asked to return additional items on the day, t-shirts can be kept for future events. 22.4 Where a volunteer undertakes more than one shift per week, multiple items of uniform may be issued to ensure cleanliness and hygiene can be observed appropriately. Replacement items of uniform are available where clothing has been worn out through normal wear, usually every 1-2 years where it is worn once a week or more. 22.5 All uniform items and any other equipment provided to volunteers must be returned when they leave their volunteering role. 22.6 At our hospitals, we operate a 'bare below the elbow' policy which must be followed at all times in clinical areas, including wards and clinics. This means that when volunteering, volunteers must wear short sleeved items of clothing. 22.7 The volunteer uniform is short sleeved, however if there is a need to wear an additional layer underneath this should be short sleeved, or the sleeves must be rolled up above the elbows when in clinical areas, including wards, clinics and waiting rooms. 22.8 The following directions also apply as part of the NHS Trust’s 'bare below the elbow' policy and must be adhered to in clinical areas: • No wrist watches • No ties • No dangly earrings or jewellery (stud earrings are fine) • No rings except plain wedding bands • Long hair must be tied back 22.9 Volunteers with roles in clinical areas, including wards, clinics and waiting rooms must wear trousers or conservative length skirts with their uniform, preferably dark in colour. Trousers or jeans with rips are not acceptable to be worn when volunteering. All volunteers should wear comfortable and closetoed footwear, shoes with high heels are not permitted to be worn in clinical areas. Items of clothing which could be perceived as revealing must not be worn, e.g. bra straps and underwear must not be visible, blouses or shirts must not be low cut or open. 22.10 Decisions regarding appropriate dress and uniform wear can be made at the discretion of the appropriate Volunteering Manager or Volunteer Supervisor.
23.1 Volunteers are asked to sign in and out using the Volunteer Attendance Registers so there is a
record of who is and has been onsite; these registers are used to monitor who our 'Active'
volunteers are at any given time. The Volunteer Attendance Registers are located at key points at
each hospital, primarily main reception desks. As part of the Volunteer Agreement it is asked that
volunteers will commit to a number of hours and shifts, and therefore attend when agreed and the
attendance registers are used to monitor this. Imperial Health Charity works on the assumption that
if a volunteer hasn't signed in, then they haven't attended.
23.2 If a volunteer is unable to attend, for whatever reason, we ask that they contact their Volunteer
Supervisor (the member of staff where they volunteer) first and also let the Volunteering Department
24.1 Imperial Health Charity is committed to ensuring that volunteers are properly equipped and feel confident to carry out their roles safely and to the best of their abilities. Requirements of operating within an NHS environment entail that all volunteers are trained in a number of core skills topics to ensure patient, staff and volunteer safety. These topics are identified via a national framework and local Trust policy. The required topics and learning outcomes that will be included for volunteers has been agreed with the Trust. 24.2 As part of the volunteer induction journey all new volunteers (with the exception of Charity Champions only) are required to complete a core training session before starting in their role. Core training sessions are usually run as a whole day course at one of the three main hospital sites where volunteers will be based, and several are run each month. Once new hospital-based volunteers have attended a core training session they will then be able to start volunteering and work through their induction checklist with their hospital team. For some volunteer roles the hospital team may also provide additional role-specific training within the first few weeks in role. Volunteer Supervisors are responsible for supporting new volunteers to complete their induction journey checklist. Volunteering Managers will review progress through the induction checklist, including any required role-specific training as part of three-month review meetings with new volunteers. 24.3 All volunteers are required to complete a refresher training course every three years in order to maintain and update their knowledge of the core skills topics. Volunteers will be contacted and sent reminders when they are required to attend a training course. Refresher training courses should be completed within three months of the due date. 24.4 Other training relating to specific topics intended to upskill and support volunteers in their role may be made available and will be offered to volunteers, as appropriate. For some volunteer roles additional training may be required to take on additional responsibility in the role, and this will be communicated to volunteers when encouraging new or different tasks in the role. 24.5 As part of the commitment to providing a high-quality volunteering experience for both volunteers and staff training is also provided for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust staff to help them work effectively with and get the most from volunteers in their team. This does not form part of any mandatory training programme; however, it is encouraged that all staff who supervise or work alongside volunteers take part in training provided.
25.1 Volunteers who wish to change their role may do so once they have completed the minimum length of time agreed when appointed, this is usually six months. Volunteers who have completed the minimum length of time for their current role are welcome to apply for any roles currently being advertised for. All current volunteer vacancies are advertised online at: www.imperialcharity.org.uk/volunteering 25.2 Volunteers should speak to the Volunteering Manager for their hospital/site if considering a change in role, who will be able to advise them and support them through the required process. Where the request to change is because a volunteer is not enjoying the role, the role is not what was expected or appropriate support from staff colleagues and/or the Volunteer Supervisor is lacking, extra consideration will be taken to re-place volunteers, before the end of the agreed minimum commitment. 25.3 For some roles group selection events are held to meet applicants wishing to volunteer and ensure they are well suited to the role they wish to take on. If an existing volunteer wishes to move to a role where a selection event is being held then they may be invited to take part in the same process as applicants to ensure they fully meet the required standard for the role. 25.4 If a volunteer wishes to take on an additional role they should speak to the Volunteering Manager for their hospital/site in the first instance who can provide advice. Volunteers can be appointed to multiple roles at the discretion of the Volunteering Manager, taking into consideration the nature of the different roles, any conflict of interest and the volunteer's ability to carry out all roles effectively. 25.5 In all cases existing volunteers will only be able to change roles or take on additional roles where there is a vacancy and they match the required criteria for the role. For this is to be established, volunteers may be asked to attend a short interview with the Volunteer Supervisor for the new role. Any change or additional role must be approved by the appropriate Volunteering Manager. Depending on the current role and the new role, volunteers may be required to complete a new or higher level of vetting, including a DBS disclosure or higher level of DBS disclosure if not previously required, or not valid within the last three years. If a higher level of vetting is required for a change in role, then this must be completed before starting the new role. References may also be requested, should these not be on a volunteers’ record.
26.1 Imperial Health Charity appreciates and acknowledges that volunteering is an important part of extra-curricular time for many volunteers, and as such has to fit around their existing commitments. From time to time other things take over or circumstances change, and it may be necessary for volunteers to take a break from their role. If a volunteer wishes to take a break from their role, they should speak to the Volunteering Manager for their hospital in the first instance to confirm approximately how long a break they would like. Volunteers should then let their Volunteering Supervisor know that they will be away, so they know not to expect them. Volunteers should also inform the Volunteering Manager of any break. If a Volunteer Supervisor becomes aware of an absence either planned or through ill health they should inform the Volunteering Manage on behalf of the volunteer. 26.2 When a volunteer is ready to return to their role following a break, they should let their Volunteering Manager know via email or phone to confirm their anticipated return date. If the break has been for less than three months, the volunteer will be able to re-start in their role immediately. If the volunteer has been away from their role for between three and six months then they will need to attend a Core Training session before re-starting in their role. The Volunteering Manager will make arrangements for the volunteer to attend this training as soon as possible so that the volunteer can resume their role. The Volunteering Manager will also conduct a 'Volunteer Return Meeting' for volunteers who have been away for longer than three months. If a volunteer takes a break which lasts for six months and one day or longer then they are required to reapply for either their previous role or a role currently available and go through the volunteer appointment process for that role. This would 33 include completing the required level of vetting for the role and the induction journey, including Core Training, appropriate to the role. 26.3 Where a long-term absence was the result of ill health, the Volunteering Manager will support the volunteer to ensure they are confident they can return to the role safely. Where the current role may no longer be suitable the Volunteering Manager can also support the volunteer into a different role, subject to opportunities that are available along with the completion of any required vetting and the Core Training session. 26.4 Where volunteers have been ‘Inactive’ for longer than six months, the relevant Volunteering Manager will contact the volunteer to discuss a potential return date. If the volunteer feels a return would not be possible within two months, then the Volunteering Manager may end the volunteer’s involvement. Volunteers are welcome and encouraged to contact their Volunteering Manager when they are ready to return to volunteering. Volunteers may be asked to reapply for the role, completing any necessary vetting requirements. If, after six months of having an ‘Inactive’ status, the Volunteering Manager is unable to contact a volunteer by phone, email or letter within two further months, the volunteer’s involvement will be concluded (a total of eight months from being assigned an ‘Inactive’ status).
27.1 As and when volunteers are ready to finish their volunteering with Imperial Health Charity they are advised to speak to the Volunteering Manager for their hospital to discuss their plans for finishing in their role. Ideally all volunteers will complete the minimum commitment advertised for the role, which is usually six months, although it is appreciated that sometimes this isn't possible. Volunteers who have completed the minimum commitment will be given a standard reference detailing their role, length of service and training completed which can be used with future employers or for volunteering with other organisations. We are unable to provide detailed character references or respond to reference requests after volunteers leave. If a volunteer requires a more detailed reference about their contribution while undertaking their role, we recommend that volunteers ask their Volunteering Supervisor to be a referee for them. 27.2 Imperial Health Charity would like to stay in touch with volunteers after they leave, which primarily comprises the quarterly Imperial Health Charity newsletter ‘Focus’ if volunteers have opted in to receive this. Where a volunteer leaves within a few months of an upcoming social event for volunteers, then in most circumstances volunteers may still attend, should they wish to. The appropriate Volunteering Manager will advise accordingly. 27.3 In most cases volunteers will leave due to changes in personal circumstances, however in exceptional cases volunteers may be asked to terminate their volunteering role. Volunteers will be asked to leave on the following grounds; • at the conclusion of a problem-solving process whereby a volunteer is found to have acted contrary to the volunteer agreement or behaviours deemed gross misconduct • in the event of the volunteer being found guilty of a serious criminal offence, not appropriate for the role or for volunteering within a hospital • where a change in their health makes their involvement as a volunteer untenable 27.4 If a volunteer is asked to leave in circumstances not relating to a change in their health, no reference will be issued, or responses given to any reference requests from potential employers or other volunteer-involving organisations. 27.5 When volunteers leave they are kindly asked to return their ID pass, name badge and any items of uniform and equipment they were issued within two weeks of their final shift, or two weeks of the end date of volunteering. This can be returned to their Volunteering Manager or the Imperial Health Charity office, either in person or by post.
28.1 Imperial Health Charity are incredibly grateful for the contribution of volunteers to the work of the Charity and Trust. As such we are committed to providing appropriate ways to recognise and thank volunteers for their contribution. This is done, primarily, via three methods: • Awards recognising time spent volunteering • Awards recognising special or outstanding achievements as a volunteer • Social ‘Thank You’ events Awards Recognising Time Spent Volunteering 28.2 Awards are presented to volunteers to recognise key milestones achieved, supporting Imperial Health Charity. These length of service awards consist of a pin badge and card which will be presented to volunteers on or near their anniversary date, or at a thank you event if there is one taking place close to their anniversary date. Make A Difference Volunteering Awards - Recognising Special or Outstanding Achievements as a Volunteer 28.3 Staff and volunteers are able to nominate volunteers for awards as part of the Make A Difference Volunteering Awards scheme, where they feel an individual should be recognised for special or outstanding achievements. There are four categories for these awards, linked to the Trust Values; Kind, Expert, Aspirational and Collaborative, with specific nomination criteria for nominees to complete when submitting a nomination. These nominations are reviewed by the Volunteering Department, and where successful, presented to recipients either within their team or at a volunteer thank you event. These volunteering awards have set criteria as well as a few conditions to ensure that we are able to recognise volunteers consistently, regardless of length of service or location. There is no limit to the number of volunteers who can be presented with these awards at any one time. Awards will be agreed based on the quality of the nomination provided, against the criteria required. Social Thank You Events 28.4 Imperial Health Charity host a number of events during the year to bring volunteers together to celebrate and thank them for their contribution to the hospitals. Invites are sent to those 'Active' volunteers who have signed in at least once during the 30 days prior to invitations being sent or those on a known absence, of less than three months. Where space at the venue permits, the Volunteering Department may also extend invitations to Volunteer Supervisors. These events are usually provided free of charge or very heavily subsidised and require volunteers, and staff, to book tickets by a set deadline to secure their place.