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NHS Volunteer Responders open for self-referrals

Millions of vulnerable people and their families will be able to directly call on the army of NHS Volunteer Responders, the NHS and Royal Voluntary Service have announced.

Over 600,000 volunteers have been approved to help those most at risk who are isolating at home from coronavirus, more than double the original target.

The scheme has been fully operational for two weeks with healthcare practitioners, pharmacists and local authority and social care staff calling on volunteers to carry out around 35,000 tasks to date, including delivering medicines, shopping and other supplies as well as making calls to check in on those isolating at home.

In some areas, volunteers have been called upon to take blood pressure monitors or other equipment to patients’ homes to enable health professionals to remotely monitor their health.

The NHS and Royal Voluntary Service are now taking steps to make the service more personalised for people who need support and increase referrals into the programme, including enabling self-referral for those most at risk and continuing to raise awareness of the programme in GP practices, pharmacies and with local authorities and social care providers.

The huge number of volunteers who have stepped forward means the NHS and Royal Voluntary Service can help not just the estimated 1.5 million people being ‘shielded’ from the virus, but also other people identified as vulnerable or receiving care in the community with local authorities also able to make referrals.

To refer, individuals need to phone 0808 1963646

To find out more, please click here.