We need a massive expansion of volunteers in public services | Stuart Etherington

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More people would get involved in voluntary work if we threw open the doors of our hospitals and care homes and made it easier for them

There is a good chance that the last time you or a relative visited a hospital, volunteers were helping to provide the services that you needed. Hopefully they made what can be a stressful experience easier or better. For some, the care and support of volunteers might also have led to an improved health outcome. From “expert patients� to volunteer drivers, befrienders to human satnavs, people giving their time to help others are the core of our health system, both past and present.

With an estimated 3 million volunteers supporting the overstretched health and social care system we need to change the question of “why are we relying upon unpaid volunteers?� to “why aren’t we getting more citizens involved in the NHS?�

Related: Tackling loneliness cannot rest with volunteers alone | Janet Morrison

Related: The public services you didn’t know were run by charities

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This post was syndicated from Health | The Guardian. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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