Questions and answers about the need for volunteers
While it may feel like we’re turning a corner with the Omicron variant, our colleagues in Health and Social Care are facing one of their most challenging periods of the pandemic so far.
They continue to face significant resource issues, which are being exacerbated by coronavirus-related sickness absence and self-isolation. This has impacts right across their services, both internally and with their external providers, and is having a real effect on their ability to deliver services to some of our most vulnerable residents.
We’ve pulled together magnificently throughout the pandemic, supporting each other to make sure we continue to deliver vital services. Many of you have already volunteered to cover different duties – and continue to do so in several cases. Thank you very much for that.
We’re now calling on colleagues to consider doing so again and are looking carefully at roles across the Council to identify those service areas where colleagues may be able to help. If you’re in one of those areas, your manager will directly be in touch with you directly.
If you’re asked, please consider whether you can volunteer – it would be greatly appreciated, particularly by our colleagues in Health and Social Care who have worked so hard and given so much throughout the pandemic.
Volunteering questions and answers
Roles / applying
Can anyone volunteer irrespective of substantive post?
Yes, if you’re in one of the service areas your Executive Director/Service Director has identified as possibly being able to release resource to support Health and Social Care.
What roles are available?
We’re looking for volunteers to cover a range of duties right across Health and Social Care, both in frontline care and in planning and administrative roles.
How will this affect my salary?
Colleagues whose work is repurposed will continue to receive their current base pay – regardless of whether the role they are repurposed to is at the same or a lower grade.
What training will I receive?
A condensed essential learning package for care worker roles within the Edinburgh H&SC Partnership has been developed. Training will be provided to colleagues volunteering, primarily via digital learning. Volunteers must not be asked to undertake key elements of the new role until they have engaged in the appropriate training e.g. administering medicine or lifting and handling.
Will I need to apply for a PVG?
Yes you will.
If you don’t have a current PVG, we will make use of a risk-based assessment to enable training/work to commence before the PVG has been received. In these instances, colleagues will be coupled with an experienced member of staff and will not work in isolation.
The Scottish Government will pay for the PVG for new staff joining the social care workforce up until the end of March 2022 to help encourage more people into the profession and to help address winter staffing pressures.
Days of work / working patterns / work location
How long will I be repurposed for?
It would be for approximately 12 weeks but we’ll need to keep monitoring how services in H&SC are doing.
What days/nights will I be expected to work?
You'll be expected to work your normal days and working hours, although if you can be flexible, that would be really appreciated.
Will there be options for choosing a work location?
There will be various work locations and we will endeavour to find one which is suitable for you.
Can I claim travel expenses if my allocated location is a longer commute than my usual place of work?
If the cost of travelling from your home to your new place of work is more than the cost of travelling from your home to your substantive role, in terms of public transport, then you'll be able to claim the difference. You should keep the travel tickets relating to the journeys you are claiming for. There is no reimbursement for car usage.
I have holidays booked, will these still be honoured?
Yes, pre-booked holidays already authorised by your line manager will be honoured.
Do I need to have all my COVID vaccinations?
Although not compulsory, we would encourage all colleagues to be vaccinated in order to protect yourself and others.
Will I get all the appropriate PPE supplied to me?