With the nation looking to rapidly increase its volunteer efforts against the battle of COVID-19, Healthwatch can support this in a number of ways.
1. Encourage members of the public to sign up to the army of NHS volunteers
Volunteers are needed to help up the most vulnerable people (1.5 million) who have been asked to shield themselves from coronavirus because of underlying health conditions. You can encourage your communities to sign up to the app and help with simple but vital tasks including:
- 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.
2. Encourage people to continue donating blood
There is always a need for blood. The government has classed blood donation as 'essential travel'. You can help spread this message within your community and encourage donors to:
- Keep their appointment if they can - and if they can't, ask them to cancel so they can be replaced
- Make a new appointment - even if it's some months ahead
- Check the NHS advice about contact with coronavirus before they donate
You can find out more about the measures the NHS are taking for blood donation and coronavirus on their website.
3. Join your community efforts
Make sure that you are in touch with your local authority, community and volunteer groups and other local stakeholders to see how you can all pull together to be the most effective you can be.
Healthwatch Bracknell Forest and Healthwatch Isle of Scilly are just two examples of local Healthwatch helping to co-ordinate volunteer activity in their local area.