Here are the Frequently Asked Questions about volunteering. If you can't find the answer you are looking for below, please contact us.

How long is the recruitment process?

The process of application to starting your role can take up to three months. This depends on how quickly you complete your pre-placement checks and whether your role is available.

The recruitment process consists of the following stages:

  • Assessment
  • Training
  • Occupational Health check
  • Disclosure and Barring Service check
  • Satisfactory References

Which hospital can I volunteer for?

At Barts Health NHS Trust we cover four main hospitals, Royal London Hospital, St Bartholomew's, Newham University Hospital and Whipps Cross Hospital. When applying for volunteering please ensure you specify which hospital you would prefer to apply for.

How many hours do I need to commit to volunteer?

We are very fortunate to have volunteers who come in to give their time for our patients and staff. We are always looking at ways to work with our volunteers to find a suitable role that fits them.

The application process can be intensive and so we ask our volunteers to commit to a minimum of six months, any shorter time commitment would be cost inefficient.

What volunteer opportunities do you have?

Our volunteers provide non clinical and non-medical support to patients, visitors and staff.
We have a range of different opportunities you can volunteer for this can vary according to availability at the time of applying.

As a volunteer your role could be greeting visitors as they come in, taking over a patient to the correct department, helping a patient with their meal, playing board games with the children on the wards or even taking around the trolley to patients who would like a snack.

Do all applicants get accepted for volunteering?

We receive a very high number of applications and limited roles, we are unable to place everyone who applies.

It is very important you provide as much information as possible when you complete the application form. We also recommend you read the task description of the role you are applying for before you apply.

If you have been unsuccessful, you must only re-apply once six months has passed.

What are the pre-placement checks that I have to complete?

  • Assessment
  • Training
  • Occupational Health check
  • Disclosure and Barring Service check

I want to apply for work experience, can I volunteer?

If you are interested in completing work experience, working in clinical setting in laboratories or observing or shadowing clinicians, please visit our work experience page.
We do not deal with work experience, you must contact the work experience team directly.

Will I get any training?

We do train and induct all our volunteers before you start you on your role. All our volunteers must attend induction training and a placement induction before you begin. We also ask you to complete some online training.

We provide additional training once you have started your role.

I want to shadow a doctor, is that possible?

We do not deal with shadowing or placements you must contact the public health team directly for any queries.

Can I apply to volunteer if I am under 18?

You must be over 16 to apply to volunteer with us.

I am available over the summer holidays. Can I volunteer for this period only?

We do sometimes offer one-off volunteer events and some seasonal volunteer roles, this will be shown in the volunteer opportunities page which is updated regularly.

Do you accommodate one-off corporate volunteering events?

We do provide one-off volunteering opportunities for employees of companies who would like to support us. Please contact our team for more information.

Can I claim travel expenses?

You are entitled to claim up to £6 a day for travel expenses, providing you submit the correct receipts. You can also collect a lunch voucher with a value of £5.00 which can be used in the hospital canteen, however only volunteers who do at least 4.5 hours per day are entitled to use the voucher.

What if we are unable to find you a suitable role at one of our hospitals?

We always try to find suitable roles for our volunteers…

Please be aware that at any time during the recruitment process application, assessment, pre-placement checks and training - deselection might happen.