News | Published March 25 2020

Quarter of a million volunteers sign up in a day to combat coronavirus

In a single day over 250,000 people signed up to volunteer with the NHS following a recruitment drive to help with the coronavirus pandemic.

Individuals are helping to deliver food, medicine, drive patients to appointments and to phone those who are self-isolating.

The scheme is intended to relieve some pressure from the NHS and is one of a number in operation at present. Those who volunteer must be over the age of 18 and in good health.

Around 11,000 former medics will return to the health service, along with 24,000 final year student doctors and nurses.

Medical director of NHS England, Stephen Powis has said he has been "bowled over" by the "outbreaks of altruism" from medics who will return to the frontline and the response from volunteers.

The scheme to recruit volunteers went live yesterday and exceeded their target of 250,000 volunteers by this morning.

It is targeted at helping the 1.5 million people with underlying health conditions who have been asked to remain home for the next 12 weeks.

Run by the Good Sam scheme, roles available include community response volunteers who will collect shopping and essential supplies for those who are self-isolating, patient transport volunteers who will bring patients back from hospital following their discharge, and NHS Transport volunteers who will bring equipment and supplies between NHS services and sites.

An additional role has been introduced to provide individuals with an opportunity to check in and chat, helping to combat loneliness in those who are self-isolating.

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Authored by

Alice Jaspars
Culture Editor
March 25 2020

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