Your NHS needs you
The Government called on Tuesday 24 March for an army of volunteers to help the NHS. Announcing the volunteer drive, Heath Secretary Matt Hancock initially asked for 250,000 volunteers. More than 500,000 people signed up in just 24 hours. Two days later he increased the target to 750,000 people to help out and slow down the spread of the Coronavirus.
Members of the public can sign up quickly and easily at goodsamapp.org/NHS to become NHS Volunteer Responders, and can be called on to do simple but vital tasks such as:
– delivering medicines from pharmacies;
– driving patients to appointments;
– bringing them home from hospital;
– or making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.
NHS Volunteer Responders is not intended to replace local groups helping their vulnerable neighbours but is an additional service provided by the NHS.
GPs, doctors, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, NHS 111 advisers and social care staff will all be able to request help for their at-risk patients via a call centre run by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), who will match people who need help with volunteers who live near to them. Some charities will also be able to refer people to the service.
What can I do?
When you click on goodsamapp.org/NHS you are asked to sign up for one or a number of tasks:
Community Response volunteer
This role involves collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating, and delivering these supplies to their home.
Patient Transport volunteer
This role supports the NHS by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge, and ensuring that they are settled safely back in to their home.
NHS Transport volunteer
This role involves transporting equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites, it may also involve assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.
Check-in and Chat volunteer
This role provides short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.
Once you have registered and checks are complete you will be provided a log-in to the GoodSAM Responder app. Switch the app to ‘on duty’, and you’ll see live and local volunteer tasks to pick from nearby. Volunteers must be 18 or over, and fit and well with no symptoms. Those in higher-risk groups (including those over 70, those who are pregnant or with underlying medical conditions) will be able to offer support by telephone. Patient transport drivers will require an enhanced DBS check.
Sign up here: www.goodsamapp.org/NHS