Following the launch of the Volunteer Responder scheme on the 24th of March, over 750,000 individuals across the country volunteered to provide support, hugely surpassing the original 250,000 target. The GoodSAM platform which was receiving volunteer applications has now had to temporarily pause recruitment to deal with the vast number of applications.
These recruited volunteers are working in a variety of roles, including supporting both vulnerable individuals and NHS services. Volunteers are supporting the most vulnerable individuals who are self-isolating during the Coronavirus Pandemic by providing them with vital resources or providing telephone support to those at risk of loneliness.
NHS England has now released guidance on how a variety of health and social care professionals can refer vulnerable individuals to receive volunteer support, including:
– GPs / social prescribing link workers / practice nurses, who are concerned about a vulnerable individual who has been advised to self isolate
– Hospital discharge teams
– Community pharmacists
– NHS 111 and ambulance trusts
– Community health trusts that need volunteer support for patients leaving hospital
– Local authorities
By referring vulnerable individuals, we can ensure everyone has the support required to stay well.