We recognise and do not underestimate the valuable contribution volunteers make to NHSScotland each year.
The aim of the three-year Refreshed Volunteering Strategy issued in February 2008 was to achieve consistently high quality approaches to volunteering across NHSScotland and to maximise the benefits volunteering brings to patients, users, carers, NHS staff and the volunteers themselves. A key element of the strategy was that NHS Boards should achieve the Investing in Volunteers (IiV) which is the UK quality standard for all organisations which involve volunteers in their work:
The report of a review of the Strategy published in March 2011 by the Scottish Health Council showed that the strategy and its implementation had made a valuable contribution towards the encouragement and development of volunteering within NHSScotland. It was recognised, however, that there are still both considerable challenges and opportunities for the further development of volunteering.
We appointed a National Programme Manager, at the end of October 2011 to provide support and ensure that consistent standards are maintained and that NHS Boards can build on the progress to date. We will fund this post, which is being hosted by the Scottish Health Council, for two years. A National Group for Volunteering provides national leadership and will oversee the further development of the volunteering agenda:
Payment of Expenses
Revised Guidance on the Reimbursement of 'Out of Pocket' Expenses for Volunteers was issued in September 2011. The guidance takes into account changes to the Approved Mileage Allowance Payments announced by HM Revenue and Customs in March 2011:
The guidance maintains the general principles, in the payment of reasonable travel and other expenses for volunteers, that:
- No volunteer should be out of pocket as a result of his/her volunteering work
- Reimbursement is not appropriate unless actual expense is incurred in the course of the volunteering