European grants

Efficiency of the hospital care system in the Czech Republic through volunteering

Code: CZ.03.3.X / 0.0 / 0.0 / 15_018 / 0007517
Status: In progress

Project title: Efficiency of the hospital care system in the Czech Republic through volunteering

Registration number: CZ.03.3.X / 0.0 / 0.0 / 15_018 / 0007517
Project implementer: Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic
The project is co-financed by the European Union and the state budget of the Czech Republic.

The project will support volunteering at health care providers and pilot test the newly introduced elements of the Volunteer Program Methodology in practice.

Pilot verification at the General University Hospital in Prague
Support of volunteer activities at the General Hospital in Prague

Start date of pilot operation: 1. 4. 2021
Date of end of pilot operation: 30. 9. 2022
Budget: CZK 950,000
Registration number: CZ.03.3.X / 0.0 / 0.0 / 15_018 / 0007517

Brief content of the project / pilot verification:

The General University Hospital in Prague received funding under the Volunteer Support Program to support volunteering provided by the coordinator of voluntary activities.

Part of the pilot testing is the testing of the proposed update of the methodological recommendation for the implementation of the volunteer program in health services (hereafter Methodology).
The draft Methodology will define the basic principles and benefits of volunteering in health care, contain a list of existing legal standards applicable to volunteering in the Czech Republic with emphasis on legislative specifics for health services, based on which define the basic responsibilities of health care providers in implementing volunteer programs. The methodology will be designed for inpatient medical facilities, including psychiatric hospitals and facilities providing palliative and hospice care.

The methodology is a recommended procedure for the coordinator of volunteer activities on how to introduce new procedures and solve problems in volunteer activities. This is precisely the benefit, because the experience of other facilities is taken into account in the methodology, and the coordinator can draw inspiration, for example, when expanding zootherapy. The specifics of individual devices may appear to be a problem, in accordance with which it is not always possible to use the recommended methodology.

As part of the actual implementation of the pilot verification, the Center for Voluntary Activities VFN regularly cooperates with MUDr. Ivana Kořínková, who participated in the creation of the new methodology, and they continuously discuss individual sections of the methodology. One of the topics was the concurrence of one's own volunteer program and cooperation with a non-profit organization or several organizations within the framework of a separate contractual relationship. VFN also applied for cooperation within the framework of a new methodology - volunteering in Neonatology, based on the assumption of using previous experience.

The Center for Voluntary Activities at the General University Hospital was recruiting new volunteers, mainly from the ranks of medical and psychology students, but also from the ranks of workers. The volunteers were familiarized with the conditions of operation in the hospital, with their rights and obligations. The organizational structure and functioning of the hospital were explained to them, the rules and boundaries of voluntary activity in the hospital facility were clarified. The training alternates between theory and practical training, and we actively involve interested parties in the training. An integral part of the training is training on health and safety, occupational health and safety and training by a hospital hygiene worker.
10 new volunteers were recruited and currently 51 "own" volunteers are working at VFN.
The volunteers themselves are supported in the form of supervision. The supervision meeting was held on the topic of the ongoing pandemic, working with child patients and how difficult it is to talk to patients about difficult topics. The volunteer community was strengthened by a meeting with the hospital chaplain on Mental Hygiene and Stress in Pandemic Times.
The Center for Voluntary Activities organized a traditional charity clothing and accessories fair. Items for sale were donated by VFN employees and also by employees of Fashion Prague Outlet Arena, which provided premises in Štěrboholy and ensured the holding of this charity event. Volunteers and a canine therapist with dogs took part in the preparation and sale. Proceeds from the charity fair will be used to pay for canistherapy at VFN.
Since October 2021, due to the pandemic situation, visits to some clinics have been prohibited. In this connection, a joint Christmas creation was organized with the volunteers, and all the creations were handed over to the patients and staff of the clinic. The result was extraordinary, more than 50 wreaths and candlesticks. At the same time, the joint work of volunteers was seen as an informal pre-Christmas meeting.

In March 2022, VFN began to cooperate with the association "Where animals help". This expanded canistherapy services for patients. Currently, dogs come to the Addiction, Psychiatry, Phoniatrics and Geriatrics and Neurology clinics. In the period when patients cannot communicate with their family due to the ban on visits to inpatient wards, the possibility of using tablets is a great benefit. Through them, with the help of the WhatsApp or Skype application, it is possible to make a video call between the patient and his loved ones. A very important role here is played by the presence of a volunteer who arranges everything in advance with the family and helps the patient operate the tablet.
Through cooperation with the Chmel farm, the expansion of zootherapy in the form of horse riding was ensured within our hospital.

In accordance with the Volunteer Activity Development Plan, information leaflets and posters were produced informing about the volunteer center, all activities and benefits for patients.

The program has been staffed by a full-time volunteer coordinator since January 1, 2021, and project funding has been available since April 1, 2021. In the period from 10.5. until June 21, 2021, the coordinator participated in an educational course for a total of 80 hours. The course ended on 6 October 2021 with a final exam.
The activities of the Voluntary Activities Center are also presented on Facebook of the VFN in Prague.

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