Appeal for NHS volunteers brings in 170000 sign-ups

Screen grab of Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaking during a media briefing in Downing Street London on coronavirus

Some 405,000 people have answered the government's call to volunteer with the NHS amid the coronavirus crisis.

The nation is looking for up to 250,000 volunteers to help up to 1.5 million people who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions.

An appeal for volunteers to support the NHS during the coronavirus outbreak that was launched yesterday evening has reached 170,000 sign-ups overnight.

"They will be absolutely crucial in the fight against this virus".

"There are four different ways that we can do our bit to help our NHS at this time through volunteering".

"You can sign up to volunteer at www.goodsamapp.org/nhs, and don't forget to follow the advice from the NHS: stay home, protect the NHS, and save lives".

The health ministry and National Health Service declined immediate comment. "This is a health emergency and we can all play a role".

"The NHS is always there for you - now is your time to be there for us too".

The PM also revealed the staggering numbers of people volunteering to help the NHS after making a plea for volunteers.

He told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme that there would be a variety of jobs available, including parcel delivery and driving.

He added: "The NHS Volunteer Responders is a new scheme set up so that people can come and help and to make sure that the NHS and local services that are needed get all the support they can".

GPs, doctors, pharmacists, nurses, midwives, NHS 111 advisers and social care staff will all be able to request help for at-risk patients through a call centre run by the Royal Voluntary Service, which will match people who need help with volunteers who live near them.

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