NHS Volunteer Responders scheme extended until March 2021

10 Nov 2020 News

The NHS Volunteer Responders programme has been extended with the charity involved appealing for more people to sign up and expanding the range of activities they might complete.

The programme was launched in partnership with Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) and GoodSAM.

The national lockdown now in place and new government advice issued to those most at risk means the scheme is now being extended until the end of March 2021.

So far, more than a million tasks have been completed by the 360,000 NHS Volunteer Responders.

In a survey, 89%, people who requested help said they were very satisfied with the support the programme gave them.

All volunteer responders who signed up in March are being urged to switch themselves “on duty” over winter. Opportunities are also available for new volunteers across the country to sign up.

Expanding volunteer roles

The programme is expanding the ways in which it can support communities and NHS staff, including enabling volunteers to help run large flu vaccination clinics.

Volunteers would assist clinical staff by helping with transporting patients to venues, checking and logging people’s details when they arrive, and stewarding to ensure social distancing and hygiene measures are observed. Appropriate training, PPE and supervision would be given to ensure the safety of staff, volunteers and patients.

Catherine Johnstone, chief executive of the Royal Voluntary Service, said: “I’m immensely proud of and grateful to our existing volunteers who have supported society’s most vulnerable through the first phase of the Covid-19 response. With winter ahead they and new recruits will be vital in supporting NHS staff to keep people safe and well.

“The fantastic thing about the NHS Volunteer Responder Scheme is its flexibility. Volunteers can simply mark themselves as on-duty via the scheme’s app whenever they have free time. I am encouraging volunteers to remain on-duty to continue supporting their communities over the coming months.”

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