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GPs can now get personal tasks done for them by volunteers

GPs and other patient-facing health and social care staff are now able to access support from NHS Volunteer Responders.

The extension, effective today (8 June), means that they can receive help with errands like the delivery of food shopping and dropping off of personal medication. 

The Government said this would help frontline staff to continue to protect those they care for, by making fewer journeys and coming into contact with fewer people, as the nation moves into a new phase in the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

So far, over 285,000 volunteer tasks have been carried out across communities nationwide for people who are vulnerable to Covid-19.

Care minister Helen Whately said: ‘Following the success of the volunteers scheme, support is now being extended to all our wonderful health and care staff who continue to go above and beyond.

‘We want to support them in whatever way we can to make their lives easier while they continue to support others most in need.’

Neil Churchill, director of patient experience, participation and equalities at NHS England, added: ‘These helpers continue to be on hand to support the most vulnerable people in our society and it is fantastic that this invaluable offer is now being extended to help our dedicated NHS staff who continue to work day and night to care for thousands of people during the pandemic.’

This comes as GPs have been making one seventh of all referals onto the scheme, with self-referrals increasing in recent weeks.