About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Measuring the impact of Helping in Hospitals: final evaluation report

This report evaluates the impact volunteers have made on patient experiences on the Helping in Hospital programme.

The data from the Helping in Hospitals programme indicates that impact volunteers show promise as a way of improving patients’ experience and wellbeing.

  • Thirty per cent of all outcomes measured produced a statistically significant positive result.
  • The majority of hospitals found statistically significant positive results on patient mood, nutrition and hydration levels, and releasing time to care.
  • Some hospitals found statistically significant positive results on patient experience and anxiety levels, while for others no effects were found.
  • No hospitals found any effects on re-admissions, length of stay, delayed transfer of care and number of falls. There were no negative results from the volunteers impact.

Download the final evaluation report on the right.

Read our guide for hospital trusts on how to take a more strategic approach to volunteering and measure impact.


Rahel Späth

Rahel Späth is an evidence consultant for the Helping in Hospitals and Young People Helping in Hospitals initiatives. This involves working with the Health Lab team and the initiatives…

Elliot Trevithick

Elliot Trevithick

Elliot Trevithick

Evidence Consultant

Elliot Trevithick was an evidence consultant for the £14m Centre for Social Action Innovation Fund. He worked with the Centre for Social Action team to build the evidence base of the f…

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Peter Babudu

Peter works for The Social Innovation Partnership (TSIP) - a trusted advisor to public, private and social sector organisations seeking to maximise their social impact. He provides evi…