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COVID-19: NHS is looking for volunteers to help support vulnerable people

The NHS is recruiting people who are feeling well to help with simple but crucial health tasks, as part of the NHS Volunteer Responder campaign.  

To join the staff fighting coronavirus and protecting lives, members of the public can sign up quickly and easily to become NHS Volunteer Responders. Once you join, you can support the network with the following tasks: 

– 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 

The government said it needs 250,000 volunteers who can help up to 1.5 million people who are at risk from underlying health problems or self-isolating due to  the coronavirus. 

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and NHS Director of Primary Care, said: “Coronavirus is the biggest challenge we have ever faced, which is why we’re rallying the troops and telling the public: your NHS needs you. 

“Across the country people are playing their part in the fight against the virus by staying home for the next 12 weeks, to protect themselves, others and the NHS. 

“But many of those shielding will need our support to do that, and by signing up to be an NHS Volunteer Responder, people who are well can do their bit too. 

“This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments where a single action from one person can be the difference between life and death for another, and simple acts of kindness are going to make all the difference in keeping some of the most vulnerable people well and out of hospital. 

“NHS staff are pulling out all the stops to ensure those who need care receive it, and creating a bank of helpers that they can call upon to support their most vulnerable patients through this difficult time is going to be invaluable, so I would urge anyone who can to sign up as an NHS Volunteer Responder today.” 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock put out an appeal for people to come forward and help reduce pressure on the NHS.  

Mr. Hancock said: “In these extraordinary times, it’s essential that we all pull together as part of the national effort to protect the most vulnerable, reduce pressures on our NHS and care system and save lives. 

“If you are well and able to do so safely, I would urge you to sign up today to help the most vulnerable people in our communities as an NHS Volunteer Responder. 

“Your help has the potential to make a real difference to some of those most affected by this outbreak – from delivering essential prescriptions to calling to check on the wellbeing of those self-isolating. 

“I am immensely proud of how the whole country is coming together to help one another – we must continue to listen to and live by the latest medical and scientific advice and through this national effort we can truly make a difference.” 

You can find out more about how to join here.

The Prime Minster strengthened measures to stop the spread of the virus and announced a lockdown on Monday. Following this advice, people can only leave their homes to buy essential groceries, medical purposes or help a vulnerable person. The NHS is urging people to take this measure seriously and help protect the NHS, which will help protect lives.