NHS Volunteer Responders

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Support for vulnerable individuals who are self-isolating 

NHS Volunteer Responders can help individuals with:

  • delivering medicines from pharmacies
  • help with shopping for food and essential items
  • driving patients to appointments
  • bringing patients home from hospital
  • regular phone calls to check patients are ok

See the NHS guidance for GPs on highest clinical risk patients

Help for health and care frontline staff

Health and care staff working in frontline services can now get help with essential tasks such as shopping and collecting prescriptions from NHS Volunteer Responders. 

NHS Volunteer Responders are not intended to replace local groups helping their vulnerable neighbours, but is an additional service where informal support is not available or easily linked to by health and social care professionals.

Volunteers will receive role-specific training where required.

Please see the downloads section for the Camden medicines delivery to vulnerable/shielded patients pathway.

For further information, see the FAQs.

Referrals can be made by the following health and care professionals:

  • GPs/social prescribing link workers/practice nurses concerned about an at-risk or vulnerable individual they have 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

Eligibility criteria


  • vulnerable individuals who are self-isolating for an extended period
  • those who health practitioners and local authorities consider to be vulnerable

How to refer

The following clinicians can refer to this service: GPs, Nurses

Via a website

NHS Volunteer Responders referrers’ portal

w: https://www.goodsamapp.org/NHSreferral

Select type and frequency of support. Request will be submitted and referrer will be sent an email asking to confirm. Once confirmed, referral will go into matching process and 'on duty' volunteers will be able to accept requests. Log into account at any time to view/cancel referrals. 


People who have been advised to shield (individuals identified as high risk who have received a letter asking them to self-isolate) can ask volunteers for short-term help. 

Help is available from NHS Volunteer Responders for a four-week period. If an individual continues to need help beyond the initial four weeks then they are able to make a new request.

Health care and frontline staff wanting to access this service will need to provide a work email address.

t: 0808 196 3646 (8am-8pm, seven days a week)

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