Health UK News Vacancies

NHS Seeks Care Volunteers

The Government will use the successful NHS programme to recruit care volunteers. The scheme will use the GoodSAM app to connect care providers with potential volunteers in their local areas. Volunteers will support patients awaiting admission to hospitals, those recently discharged, and individuals in the community, freeing up the social care workforce to focus on more complex needs

The government plans to expand the successful NHS Volunteer Responders Programme into social care, creating a joint NHS and care volunteering initiative. With £3 million in funding, the scheme will use the GoodSAM app to connect care providers with potential volunteers in their local areas.

The roles available for care volunteers include:

  1. Check in and Chat Plus: Reaching out to vulnerable individuals to combat loneliness and offer companionship.
  2. Pick up and Deliver: Transporting medicines and medical equipment from NHS sites to people’s homes or community settings to support hospital discharge or ongoing healthcare needs.
  3. Community Response: Collecting and delivering essential items such as food, prescriptions, and medications to people in the community.

Minister for Care, Helen Whately, highlighted the importance of volunteers in providing crucial support to those in need. By expanding into social care, the programme aims to aid hospital discharge and prevent admissions, especially with the Pick Up and Deliver role streamlining the process of delivering medications directly to patients.

The Royal Voluntary Service and GoodSAM will jointly deliver the expanded programme, alleviating pressure on both the NHS and social care systems. Volunteers will support patients awaiting admission to hospitals, those recently discharged, and individuals in the community, freeing up the social care workforce to focus on more complex needs.

Additionally, the government is exploring ways to enhance the benefit of volunteers in the NHS, considering measures such as simplifying the application process for volunteer roles by potentially removing the requirement for employment history in certain cases.

It’s important to note that while volunteers play a crucial role in supporting the health and care sector, they are not intended to replace the existing paid health and care staff, who are highly valued for their work. The expansion of the NHS Volunteer Responders Programme into social care is seen as a significant step in supporting individuals to live independently at home and providing essential aid to those in need.

Sam Ward OBE, Deputy CEO of Royal Voluntary Service said: “The NHS Volunteer Responders scheme has been invaluable to the NHS and communities for the past three years. We are privileged to be taking the learning from the pandemic and extending the support of the valued volunteers to even more people and communities, working closely with social care providers and NHS England.”

 Dame Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said: “We are delighted that this innovative volunteering programme is being expanded and look forward to seeing what positive changes this move can bring for our social care colleagues – it has been a wonderful support for the NHS over the last couple of years.

“There are a wide range of roles available which give amazing support to our patients and existing staff – we are looking for people who can help provide essentials to others who may be vulnerable, or for those who want to take a potential first step into a career in the NHS. If you are interested – we want to hear from you.”

Local authorities have found the Volunteer Responder program useful and have been referring care recipients since its inception. Soon, care providers, including care homes, will be able to request volunteers for support in the community.

Samantha Aylott, a Specialist Advisor for Adult Social Care at Essex County Council, praises the Volunteer Responder program for providing emotional support and friendly phone calls to those in need, recommending it to other social care providers.

Maz Chafekar, a volunteer from Birmingham, initially signed up during the first lockdown and continues to volunteer as a Check-in and Chat caller to support vulnerable and isolated individuals. Maz finds the role rewarding and fulfilling, knowing that a simple chat can make a significant difference in someone’s life.

Three volunteer roles are available: Check In and Chat Plus, Community Response, and Pick Up and Deliver. Recruitment is open, and tasks will begin in the coming weeks, depending on demand in each area. Volunteers can sign up for multiple activities to increase the number of tasks they receive.

Adult social care providers can now refer people in their care to receive friendly Check-In and Chat phone calls.

For further information on the roles and how to sign up: NHS and Care Volunteer Responders | Supporting Health & Social Care (

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‘We Are The NHS’

Recruitment for the NHS has never been more vital, Asian Lite speaks to Urwa Mogul,  Healthcare Support Worker as part of the ‘We are the NHS Campaign’

Now in its third year, the ‘We are the NHS’ campaign is back to celebrate the extraordinary work of NHS staff in over 350 roles including healthcare support workers, nurses and allied health professionals to inspire a new cohort to consider a career in the health service.

The professionalism and dedication staff have shown throughout the pandemic has generated unprecedented interest in joining the NHS while the demands of contending with coronavirus and keeping other services running means recruitment has never been more crucial. ‘We are the NHS’ shines a light on some of the most in-demand roles in the NHS; all varied, exciting and challenging in equal measures.

Urwa Mogul, Healthcare Support Worker, at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

“I’m a recent graduate however, there are no set entry requirements to becoming a healthcare support worker, apart from good literacy and numeracy skills,” said Urwa Mogul, Healthcare Support Worker, at Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust when asked about her experience. “ You can choose which area you work in, anything from mental health to childcare; I wanted to gain clinical experience therefore, opted for a hospital-based role supporting patients and managing daily activities.

“As a Healthcare Support Worker, it’s extremely important to be a caring and compassionate individual, patient interaction makes the job extremely rewarding and I would recommend the role to anyone wanting an introduction into the world of healthcare. Another vital skill is working efficiently and effectively with your team members as patient care can only be of the highest standard and in return you have access to world-class training. I love my job and find it extremely gratifying, this is my first full-time role and I have gained so much clinical experience by working with other HCSW’s, Nurses, Doctors, Physiologists and Allied Health Professionals, it is also important to be open to learning new skills to show that you can develop. With that mindset the opportunities to progress are endless and I’ve learnt so much within a short space of time.

“Due to the large surge of Covid patients – at Royal Papworth Hospital we take the sickest patients from across the East of England – there has been an increased requirement of staff working on the wards to care for these patients. I was recently redeployed to Critical Care giving an extra hand to nurses looking after patients. It’s sad to see patients like this but knowing we are doing our absolute best to help them recover makes it all worthwhile. The majority of critical care patients we see at Royal Papworth Hospital are ethnic minority patients which is saddening but I feel like I am doing a great deal for our community and I hope I’ve made some sort of a difference to their care and recovery. My end goal is a career in medicine and I know that my patient facing role will help equip me with all the necessary skills and qualities needed to thrive.”

Search ‘NHS Careers’ to find out more