More than 170000 volunteer to help UK fight coronavirus

Henrietta Strickland
March 25, 2020

The UK's health minister Matt Hancock announced the new scheme on Tuesday, appealing for the recruitment of 250,000 volunteers to support vulnerable people who are unable to leave their homes due to the pandemic.

Who will be able to request helpOther health services including Global Positioning System, doctors, pharmacists, social care staff will be able to request help from the volunteers for their at risk patients through a call centre where the needs of the patient will be matched to a volunteer.

Special advice has been drawn up for 1.5 million people considered most at risk because of underlying health conditions, asking them to entirely avoid social contact.

Delivered by the Royal Voluntary service, which was founded in 1938 to mobilise volunteers during the Second World War, the NHS Volunteer Response Team will assist the NHS with three key tasks.

Any adults who are fit and healthy can apply to help deliver medicines from pharmacies, drive patients to appointments or make regular phone calls to check on people. It requires you to prove your identity by uploading an image of a DBS certificate, passport or driving license details, a bank statement or utility bill.

Speaking to the BBC this morning, national medical director of NHS England, Professor Stephen Powis, has said more than 170,000 volunteers have signed up overnight, since the scheme was announced. He added that some 18,700 final-year student nurses and 5,500 final-year medical students will "move to the frontline" next week to help combat the CCP virus.

"I pay tribute to each and every one of those who is returning to the NHS at its hour of need", Hancock said.

Johnson has previously held off from adopting the more stringent restrictions on freedom seen in much of Europe.

The government has closed all non-essential shops and services and told people to stay at home to try to stop the spread of COVID-19, after 422 deaths and more than 8,000 cases in Britain.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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