Volunteering and Coronavirus

NHS Volunteer Responders


Health and social care professionals in England can refer any vulnerable patients who are self-isolating to NHS Volunteer Responders for help with tasks such as collecting shopping and prescribed medicines, driving patients to medical appointments or transporting supplies between sites.

The scheme is already helping thousands of people every day and hundreds of thousands of volunteers are available to help. Health and social care professionals, including GPs, pharmacists, midwives and social prescribing link workers can make referrals. Some voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations that work with people who are clinically high risk or vulnerable may also now make referrals. You can make referrals through the NHS Volunteer Responders referrers’ portal or by calling 0808 196 3382.

The scheme is now open for self-referrals for people who have been advised to shield and those most at risk who are isolating at home from coronavirus. These people can ask volunteers for short-term help by calling 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm. Please pass this number on to patients who could benefit from this support.

You can find more information about the programme at www.nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk.

You can make referrals directly if you have an nhs.net or gov.uk email address. We will approve requests from alternative addresses as quickly as we can within 72 hours, or they can make referrals through their local authority.

You can also use the portal to track when a patient receives support, or to remove someone from the scheme if they no longer need assistance.

The service, commissioned by NHS England and NHS Improvement, is being delivered by the Royal Voluntary Service. All approved volunteers have undergone appropriate ID checks, with an enhanced DBS check for those volunteering as patient transport drivers.

Please continue to make use of your local schemes where they exist and please talk to your patients if in doubt about whether they require support. Priority will be given to those identified as most at risk and asked to self-isolate at home for an extended period, and to those who health practitioners and local authorities consider to be especially vulnerable.

Volunteers can also support organisations by transporting supplies by car, such as equipment, medicines or personal protective equipment.

Doncaster Community Hub for Coronavirus Support

You can find out about help and support available from the Doncaster Community Hub here.