Harrogate Hospital

Harrogate Hospital “sitting on the fence” over volunteer training

15 November 2011

Harrogate Hospital

Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust has today (15th Nov 11) issued a further statement around their plans to train all volunteers within twelve months or face the sack. Crucially the statement falls short in saying that the requirement for the training of volunteers will be removed.

In their proposals the Foundation have written to all volunteers stating that the training “is necessary in order for you to carry out volunteering activities for the Trust”

All volunteering roles, regardless of function are being told to undergo equality and diversity awareness training, manual handling theory, manual handling practical, data protection and safeguarding adults awareness.

The proposal have forced many volunteers to re-evaluate their work with the Hospital with some considering leaving due to the time commitment needed to attend the courses.

David Simister Volunteers as a DJ for the Hospital Radio and said:

I run a small business and can ill afford to take time off to attend nine training sessions, particularly when the majority are totally pointless to what I do.

The heaviest item I lift is a CD out of its case. For others it’s cups of teas and newspapers!


A spokesperson for the Foundation said:

Since the Trust wrote to our volunteers regarding a programme of basic training, we have received very helpful feedback from a number of our volunteers.

We place the highest value on each and every one of our volunteers and we appreciate all the work that they do. We are keen to ensure that we support volunteers in helping them to gain relevant skills that they will find useful in carrying out their role.

We are currently reviewing the training that we offer, in consultation with volunteer representatives, to make sure that it is appropriate and has a minimal impact on their valuable time.


The NHS Litigation Authority aims to improve risk management practices in the NHS, a spokesperson said:

The role of the NHS Litigation Authority is to give general guidance to health trusts on risk management training.

It is up to each organisation to decide what training is relevant and necessary for its individual staff members.

The authority has not issued specific guidance on the training of volunteers.


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