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Governance, safety and sustainability considerations for implementation of the Dementia and Delirium Care with Volunteers program

To ensure successful implementation within a safety and quality framework and in line with the NSW Heath Policy Directive PD2011_033 Volunteers – Engaging, Supporting and Managing Volunteers, the establishment and sustainability of the program requires consideration of the following:

  1. A governance structure with designated volunteer coordination and project implementation resources. This is required for both successful implementation and sustainably of the volunteer program. The level of project implementation resources required will be dependent on the size of the service and the availability of an existing full time equivalent (FTE) Volunteer Manager or Coordinator.

    Short term project resources of 6 months is required for leading the implementation. The level of FTE will be dependent on the size of the facility and the scope of implementation (i.e. number of wards the program will be implemented in). If your service does not have an existing Volunteer Manager of Coordinator, consideration will need to be given to extension of the project position for up to 12 months (with reduced FTE) to ensure embedding of the program and a sustainability plan.

    The key responsibilities for successful implementation and sustainability of the program include:

    • Establishing the project implementation committee and reporting structures
    • Identifying the evaluation measures
    • Reviewing and refining the program referral process and procedures
    • Determining the purchase processes for additional resources  (see point 2)
    • Planning and conducting staff information/education sessions
    • Program promotion, screening, recruitment and vaccination of volunteers
    • Coordinating and conducting volunteer training
    • Overseeing the initial volunteer rostering and commencement
    • Establishing volunteer networking and feedback processes
    • Ongoing volunteer mentoring, support, feedback and recognition
    • Determining ongoing rostering and recruitment responsibilities
    • Monitoring the implementation and evaluation.

    Ongoing Volunteer Manager or Coordinator would be required for volunteer recruitment, screening and vaccination, coordination of training, support and management.

  1. Additional resource considerations include:
    • The purchase and supply of the volunteer uniform
    • Volunteer filing cabinet, desk and chair space on the ward
    • Patient activity resources to support therapeutic activities with volunteers as well as distraction resources for agitated patients.
    • Secure storage for patient activity resources.

Partnering with other health service fund raising groups such as Hospital Auxiliary’s can assist in accessing funding for the patients activity resources. A list of suggested activity resources is included in the implementation guide.

The NSW Heath Policy Directive PD2011_033 Volunteers – Engaging, Supporting and Managing Volunteers is at