The UK Government’s health secretary has announced the government is seeking 250,000 volunteers to help the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak.
The NHS has said the volunteers would support the 1.5 million vulnerable people who have been asked by the government to “shield” themselves from COVID-19.
Here’s everything you should know if you want to become an NHS volunteer responder.
How to sign up.
Those who want to help can register by heading to the following NHS website: https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHS
Potential volunteers are asked to fill in a form with their details.
Checks are then carried out on applicants before successful people are given login details for the “GoodSAM” Responder app.
Volunteers can then switch the application to “on duty” to find tasks to pick from nearby.
- Community response volunteers: This role involves collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies for someone who is self-isolating. The volunteer would also deliver these supplies to their home.
- Patient transport volunteer: This position supports the NHS by providing transport to patients who are medically fit for discharge, and ensuring they are settled safely back into their home.
- NHS transport volunteer: This role involves transporting equipment, supplies and/or medication between NHS services and sites. It may also include assisting pharmacies with medication delivery.
- Check-in and chat volunteer: These volunteers will provide short-term telephone support to individuals who are at risk of loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said, “if you are well and able to do so safely, I would urge you to sign up today”.
Volunteers have to be 18 or over, fit and well with no symptoms.
Those in the high-risk groups will be able to offer support and comfort by telephone.
The majority of tasks can be undertaken while social distancing and volunteers will receive guidance through a “getting started pack”. Those who become ill can pause their volunteering.