NHS Volunteer Responders has been set up to support the NHS during the COVID-19 outbreak. To do they need an 'army' of volunteers who can support the 1.5m people in England who are at most risk from the virus to stay well. Doctors, nurses and other professionals will be able to refer people in to NHS Volunteer Responders and be confident that they have been matched with a reliable, named volunteer. Once you have registered and checks are complete you will be provided a log-in to the GoodSAM Responder app. This programme enables volunteers to provide care or to help a vulnerable person, which is permitted under the new rules announced by the Government on 23rd March 2020.
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. Safety is the priority. The majority of tasks can be undertaken while social distancing and volunteers will receive guidance through a 'getting started pack'. If you become ill you can pause your volunteering. Patient transport drivers will require an enhanced DBS check and will receive guidance to do this role safely, also included within the 'getting started pack'.
For those who are able to volunteer it will ease the pressure and worry of those vulnerable members of our community. If you are in receipt of support from a Volunteer Responder please remember to manage your personal security. Do not give out personal data to the individual responder, do not provide bank details, pin numbers or handover relatives details, do not provide cash and do not invite them into your home for coffee!! Whilst the majority of these volunteers will be honourable and genuine it does not mean you should take any risks.