NHS Volunteer Responders is a new group that will carry out simple, non-medical tasks to support people in England who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions. They will be used by healthcare professionals to make sure people who are highly vulnerable to coronavirus (COVID-19) are able to stay safe and well at home.
Who can join and what are the tasks?
The NHS and social care urgently need people to join the NHS Volunteer Responders to do simple but vital tasks including driving people to and from hospital, and delivering food and medication. Volunteers will also support the NHS to transport equipment and supplies, and make regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.
Please note, to comply with the UK’s current ‘Stay at Home’ rules you can only volunteer to carry out those tasks which involve leaving your home if you fulfil ALL of the conditions below:
- You are well and have no symptoms like a cough or high temperature and neither does anybody in your household
- You are under 70
- You are not pregnant
- You do not have any long-term health conditions that make you vulnerable to coronavirus
Guidance for those at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus can be found here.
I need to stay at home – can I still help?
You can sign up as a telephone ‘check in and chat’ volunteer even if you are staying at home and you are in one of the groups listed above.
How do I join?
Just register here. You will then be asked to select from a list of tasks. Once your registration and checks are complete you can download the GoodSAM Responders app. Local volunteer tasks will be pushed to your phone with an alert when you switch the app to ‘on duty’.
Why has NHS Volunteer Responders been set up?
It is vital that health and social care teams can easily match people who need help to self-isolate with ID-checked volunteers in a managed, England-wide system. This service aims to support people who have specific health conditions which put them at high risk from coronavirus. It will be used by doctors, nurses and others where there is no alternative local support for their patients, and will help to keep hospital beds available to those who need them most.
Is this different from helping out my neighbours and local charities?
NHS Volunteer Responders is not intended to replace any local provision. It will provide a service where informal support is not available or where health and social care professionals do not have a way to refer people into those systems. It is being delivered by Royal Voluntary Service one of the country’s largest and long-standing volunteering charities.
I am clinically trained – how can I volunteer to help the NHS?
The NHS Volunteer Responders will not undertake clinical tasks. If you are clinically trained please visit: www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/returning-clinicians. Alternatively contact your local hospital trust.