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“Your NHS Needs You” – NHS calls on supporters to volunteer

The NHS is “rallying the troops” for the war on coronavirus, with volunteers including football fans being called up to help vulnerable people stay safe and well at home.

The nation is looking for up to 750,000 volunteers to help up to 1.5 million people who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions – and football supporters are one section of society who could help.

Members of the public can sign up quickly and easily at goodsamapp.org/NHS to become NHS Volunteer Responders, and can be called on to do simple but vital tasks such as:

  • delivering medicines from pharmacies;
  • driving patients to appointments;
  • bringing them home from hospital;
  • or making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.

FSA chair Malcolm Clarke said: “Football fans like everyone else are hugely grateful that the NHS is there for us all, not only at this time of national crisis but all the time.

“Now that we are all at home, and missing watching our clubs, there is a way in which fans who able to do so without breaking the new rules can help the NHS, by redirecting our energy into supporting the NHS by joining the health service’s new volunteer workforce.”

NHS Volunteer Responders is not intended to replace local groups helping their vulnerable neighbours but is an additional service provided by the NHS.

GPs, doctors, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, NHS 111 advisers and social care staff will all be able to request help for their at-risk patients via a call centre run by the Royal Voluntary Service (RVS), who will match people who need help with volunteers who live near to them. Some charities will also be able to refer people to the service.

Football clubs, supporter-run foodbanks and fan groups have already shown what can be done already, having rallied round their communities as the pandemic unfolded.

Dr Nikki Kanani, GP and NHS Director of Primary Care, said: “Coronavirus is the biggest challenge we have ever faced, which is why we’re rallying the troops and telling the public: your NHS needs you.

“Across the country people are playing their part in the fight against the virus by staying home for the next 12 weeks, to protect themselves, others and the NHS.

“But many of those shielding will need our support to do that, and by signing up to be an NHS Volunteer Responder, people who are well can do their bit too.

“This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments where a single action from one person can be the difference between life and death for another, and simple acts of kindness are going to make all the difference in keeping some of the most vulnerable people well and out of hospital.

“NHS staff are pulling out all the stops to ensure those who need care receive it, and creating a bank of helpers that they can call upon to support their most vulnerable patients through this difficult time is going to be invaluable, so I would urge anyone who can to sign up as an NHS Volunteer Responder today.”

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