Surrey Community Action has been working with Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System to carry out research on the paid and unpaid health and care workforce in Surrey.  The aim is to better understand the size and shape of the workforce so that everyone can work together across all sectors to offer better care to the people of Surrey. 

Jason Gaskell, CEO at Surrey Community Action said: “We’ve produced a summary document and will be working further to make a set of recommendations before we publish the final report.”

However he did provide an early insight into some of the report’s findings:

  • Generally, Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector (VCFS)colleagues feel relationships between them and health and care structures are improving at all levels
  • There are almost 10,000 voluntary sector health and care staff in Surrey, supported by around 425,000 volunteers
  • The age of unpaid staff in the health and care workforce is rising faster than the age of beneficiaries
  • Opportunities identified by VCFS partners include sharing offices and services to share costs and supporting movement of volunteers between organisations
  • Most voluntary sector health and care organisations are finding it harder to recruit both staff and volunteers.

Jason added: “I’ve worked in the Voluntary, Community and Faith Sector  for over sixteen years now – six in Surrey – and it still amazes me when we work out how many staff and volunteers there are in Surrey alone who work to improve residents’ health and care.

“When I presented our research to Surrey Heartlands, it’s not much of an exaggeration to say that jaws hit tables and eyebrows rose to the ceiling when I revealed how many of us there are in the VCFS.  There was also a real excitement about how we can do more together, support each other, and help our population.”