Prescribe unpaid work, says charity

The NHS could save more than £120m if it prescribed volunteering as part of the treatment of mental health patients, according to a charity.

Capital Volunteering estimates that up to 15 per cent of the 100,000 people admitted to psychiatric wards each year could significantly benefit from volunteering.

The charity, which offers volunteering opportunities to people with mental health problems in London, believes that £8,000 could be saved for each of those people if volunteering prevented readmission to hospital, making a total of £120m.

Capital Volunteering director Claire Helman said: “Volunteering as part of a recovery programme can play a significant role in helping people to manage their illness and reclaim their lives.”

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