Coronavirus: How To Be An NHS Volunteer Responder
25 March 2020, 13:18
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the Government is launching a scheme to get 250,000 NHS volunteers to help during the coronavirus pandemic.
A new scheme to recruit 250,000 volunteers to support the NHS through the COVID-19 outbreak has been launched by the Government.
The announcement was made by Health Secretary Matt Hancock on March 24, after telling the public that a new hospital - the NHS Nightingale - will open next week.
He explained: "We are seeking a quarter of a million volunteers, people in good health to help the NHS, for shopping, for the delivery of medicines and to support those who are shielding to protect their own health.”
Matt Hancock also revealed that over 35,000 staff are returning to the NHS to help fight the outbreak, including over 18,000 student nurses coming to the front line.
But how can you become a volunteer? And what are the requirements? Here’s what we know.
How to become an NHS volunteer
To register to become an NHS volunteer, you can head over to the GoodSAM website, where you need to fill in a simple form and sign up with your personal details.
The form will ask your name, email address, date of birth, mobile number and home address.
You will also be asked if you hold a recent DBS certificate.
After registration you will be sent an activation code to confirm your email address - it will then take up to 72 hours for your identification check to take place.
What are the requirements for becoming an NHS volunteer?
Before signing up, you must meet the following requirements:
- Volunteers must be fit and well, with no coronavirus symptoms.
- You must be aged 18 or over.
- People in high-risk groups (including those aged 70 or over, pregnant women or those with underlying health conditions) will be able to offer support over the phone.
- Patient transport driver volunteers will need a DBS check and will receive guidance on how to carry out their role safely.
What volunteering roles are available?
The NHS is seeking four main roles:
Community Response volunteer - this involves collecting shopping, medication or essential supplies for those who are in self-isolation, by delivering supplies to their home.
Patient Transport volunteer - this will involve proving transport to patients who can be discharged from hospital and ensuring they return back safely to their homes.
NHS Transport volunteer - this entails transporting supplies, medication or equipment between NHS services and/or helping pharmacies with delivering medication.
Check-in and Chat volunteer - this role involves telephone support to individuals who are self-isolating and are at risk of loneliness.