The Government is “rallying the troops” in the war against coronavirus, with volunteers being called up to help the NHS.
The Government and the NHS are looking for up to 250,000 volunteers to help the 1.5 million people who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus.
Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction with others.
Members of the public can sign up quickly at goodsamapp.org/NHS
Those who sign up will become NHS Volunteer Responders, and will be asked to do simple but vital tasks such as delivering medicines from pharmacies, driving patients to appointments, bringing them home from hospital, or making regular phone calls to check on those in isolation.
These volunteers are not intended to replace local groups helping vulnerable neighbours, but is a supplementary NHS service.
NHS workers will be able to request help for their at-risk patients via a call centre run by the Royal Voluntary Service, who will match people with volunteers that live near them.
The move has come as the Government has introduced measures to support the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Government will be making a makeshift field hospital, dubbed the Nightingale Hospital, in the ExCeL Centre in East London to treat coronavirus patients. The hospital will be staffed by medics with help from the military.
In response to the Government’s call for retired medics to return to the NHS, more than 11,788 have come forward. More than 18,7000 student nurses and 5,500 final-year medics will also be joining the NHS.
The moves have been praised by the Conservative MP for Derby North, Amanda Solloway.
Amanda, who won the seat back in the previous General Election, said:
“The coronavirus crisis is like nothing I have seen in my lifetime, and we all need to step up and do our bit to help our friends, families and neighbours.
This volunteer scheme will alleviate pressure on the NHS and will allow volunteers to do simple but vital tasks.
We all need to pull together and play our part, and I would encourage as many healthy people as possible to take part.”