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Background to cardio-rehab volunteer project

2nd July 2012

Project Aims

The Project delivers on the  preventative agenda in two ways:

1. By delivering new approaches to cardiac rehabilitation more people will engage in activity that will prevent a secondary cardiac episode

2. Giving people the opportunity to increase their skills and give them a work placement will reduce their risks of developing health problems as the risks of poor health and Worklessness are closely related.

The project offers the opportunity to enhance services through the use of volunteers.  Drawing volunteers from the local community and offering them the opportunity to gain work experience and qualifications opens a supply chain for future workforce and provides prosperity in communities where this is lacking.

The volunteer programme would be the first step on the skills escalator, for many, and is hoped that volunteers will go on to gain more formal qualifications.  This would provide a pool of local people to populate the workforce of the future, in particular where there are future plans for expanding work groups such as health visitors.

Why this project is needed

 Community based services are struggling to provide ‘enhanced services’ – due to cutbacks.  The effect of this is that people most at-risk of inequalities in health and social circumstance are always the most affected.  Enhanced services are typically those that provide additional support in the form of outreach, or befriending that some vulnerable people need to access and utilise services.

Significant cuts to public services are affecting the ability for people to undertake work-based learning.  The supply chain for future workforce is not having the opportunities it had in the past through apprenticeships and new posts to gain the placement opportunities needed to undertake vocational qualifications.


Addressing inequalities

 The project will work with  patients who are more socially isolated and further away from services.  Trained volunteers will ensure they will be able to access and utilise services and reduce their chances of having a secondary episode.  It is predicted that this role will be of particular benefit to older people, who do not enjoy the traditional ‘gym-based’ rehabilitation programmes.

The solution addresses the ‘short-term’ root cause because it creates a work-based learning environment that allows people from local communities an opportunity to work and train with the NHS

It also provides an enhanced community based service that will encourage the most at-risk to participate

Project Objectives 

To recruit and train 30 volunteers to work alongside cardio-rehab nurses in providing rehabilitation sessions in the community.

To provide approximately 3 sessions per week of dance, light exercise, social interaction and motivation to enable full rehabilitation

To provide specialist training in First Aid and Public Health Awareness to enable volunteers to commence study and apply their learning in a workplace environment.

To evaluate the impact of additional 30 volunteers in the rehabilitation programme

To roll—out the model to other rehabilitation services

For more information contact

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