Health Secretary Matt Hancock is "delighted" that tens of thousands of volunteers have put their names forward to help give their support as NHS Volunteer Responders during the coronavirus pandemic.
Yesterday he called on Brits to sign up for an army of 250,000 people to donate their time as NHS Volunteer Responders to help the 1.5 million isolating from coronavirus for 12 weeks in an attempt to slow the spread around the UK.
That target for NHS Volunteer Responders looks set to be smashed after 170,000 reportedly offered their assistance for a number of volunteer roles.
These volunteer roles include collecting shopping and essential supplies for the vulnerable. Other duties include transporting patients and transporting equipment. Some volunteer roles will involve checking in on those at risk of loneliness.
NEWS: We’re delighted that overnight 170,000 people have signed up to volunteer to support our NHS tackling #coronavirus. Join here: https://t.co/gtYR6xW0jE #StayHomeSaveLives pic.twitter.com/Nq1oPZfsZm
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) March 25, 2020
Who can sign up?
Those over the age of 18, fit and healthy and non-symptomatic can offer their time to be a NHS Volunteer Responder.
Where can people sign up?
Sign up to be a NHS Volunteer Responder by heading to this link.
What might a NHS Volunteer Responder help with?
1. Delivering medicines to the vulnerable from pharmacies
2. Driving patients to medical appointments
3. Bringing patients home from hospital
4. Making regular phone calls to check on those self-isolating
The Health Secretary said yesterday: "In these extraordinary times, it’s essential that we all pull together as part of the national effort to protect the most vulnerable, reduce pressures on our NHS and care system and save lives.
"If you are well and able to do so safely, I would urge you to sign up today to help the most vulnerable people in our communities as an NHS Volunteer Responder.
"Your help has the potential to make a real difference to some of those most affected by this outbreak. From delivering essential prescriptions to calling to check on the wellbeing of those self-isolating.
Your help has the potential to make a real difference to some of those most affected by this outbreak.
"I am immensely proud of how the whole country is coming together to help one another. We must continue to listen to and live by the latest medical and scientific advice and through this national effort we can truly make a difference."
NHS England medical director Stephen Powis reacted: "Overnight 170,000 people have signed up.
"That's three a minute to help the NHS. It’s an absolutely astonishing response."
He told BBC Breakfast: "This is a health emergency. We can all play a role in ensuring we get on top of coronavirus and at the same time expand capacity in the NHS."
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