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Published 28 February 2020
The partnership (between DACB, NHS hospitals and local schools), which was created by the international legal business against a backdrop of the NHS recruitment crisis and the firm’s ‘Responsible Business strategy’, focuses on partnerships with schools in local communities: nearly all of the firm’s city-centre offices are in close proximity to some of the poorest communities in the UK.
This partnership is an innovative and genuine solution to the NHS workforce challenge, which saw the firm launch youth volunteering at three hospitals through the #iWill campaign’s ‘Step up to Serve’ initiative in association with Helpforce, the charity working to create the future of volunteering in the NHS, working closely with them to design and manage the youth volunteering programme.
DACB’s pioneering project included three NHS hospitals (St James’s at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust, The Royal London and North Bristol NHS Trust), and local schools in London, Bristol and Leeds.
Its success has since seen DACB provide volunteers to a further fourth hospital – Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Sir James Mackey, CEO at Northumbria Healthcare, commented: “Never before in the history of NHS volunteering, has a corporate partner signed up to support any trust quite like this. By stepping up to support its local health service, DACB is making a marked and significant difference to our staff, patients and the community at large. It would be hard to overstate the value of the work they do”.
Lois Duguid, Head of Responsible Business at DAC Beachcroft and lead of the volunteering programme for the firm, said: “We are delighted that the project has been recognised for its valuable impact on the NHS. This was a true partnership; we worked with the NHS not just on delivering aspects of the project, but to design it together.”
Mark Lever, chief executive at Helpforce, commented: ”We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with an organisation that shares our passion and commitment in increasing the impact of volunteering across health and care.
"This well-deserved award highlights the benefits of linking passionate volunteers with their health services, and we hope it will inspire more organisations to support the growing movement of communities using volunteering to improve all our health and care.
“We're very much looking forward to working with DAC Beachcroft to develop more innovative volunteering projects in the future."
Nigel Montgomery, partner and Head of Health at DAC Beachcroft, added: “This accolade is a clear reflection of our continued commitment to creating sustainable value for our clients, and for the communities in which we work. As one of the leading legal advisors to the health and social care sector, we are thrilled to be recognised for our work in supporting our clients in the NHS.”
The winners of the HSJ Partnership Awards were announced at a ceremony at the Park Plaza Westminster on the 27th February, attended by leaders and professionals from both the NHS and private sector, as well as figures from non-clinical backgrounds, to celebrate innovation and collaboration in healthcare.