JMW staff join NHS Volunteer Responders scheme to help keep patients safe

27th March 2020 Clinical Negligence

The Covid-19 pandemic is touching everyone’s lives currently but is having particular impact on the vulnerable, the elderly and on NHS workers.

The NHS Volunteer Responders scheme, which was launched by Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Tuesday night, aims to support all of these groups by recruiting healthy members of the public to volunteer their time.

Up to press 21 JMW Solicitors employees have volunteered for the scheme with several others hoping to if their family circumstances allow. I am one of these employees and I hope that I will be able to contribute to keeping people safe at home by giving my spare time as a community response and ‘check-in and chat’ volunteer.

There has been a fantastic public response to the scheme across the UK. Matt Hancock initially asked for 250,000 healthy people to come forward but more than 500,000 are now signed up, which is a beacon of hope at this dark time for our country.

The volunteers will be taking on tasks such as collecting and delivering shopping and medication to vulnerable people who are self-isolating, providing transport for people in need of it when they are ready to be discharged from hospital or calling and chatting to anyone who is at risk of loneliness due to self-isolation.  It will also include supporting NHS services by transporting equipment, supplies and medication between sites and ensuring medication can be delivered to pharmacies.

As a clinical negligence solicitor, it is easy to assume that I would be critical of the NHS. Nothing could be further from the truth. My mum was an NHS contracts manager, and my two sisters are an NHS doctor and midwife respectively. I am lucky to hear snippets of amazing things they accomplish in these roles. And yes, as part of my job I regularly see what can happen to patients and families if NHS systems breakdown. I think it is important that solicitors are there to help them get the compensation they need to try and have a normal life again. But these stories are part of the NHS; not the whole. Everyone in the NHS does fantastic work on a daily basis and now more than ever it is time for us to give back.

The volunteers won’t solve the crisis, but they will make things a little easier for the NHS to carry on saving lives.

If you are interested in volunteering for the scheme you can find an application form here.

 

 

 

 

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Ellen Driscoll is a Solicitor located in Manchesterin our Clinical Negligence department

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