Coronavirus is the biggest challenge our local NHS services have ever faced.
If you are aged 18 or over and fit and well with no underlying health conditions, could you offer some of your spare time to help at your local hospital or community healthcare setting?
The opportunities for non-clinical volunteers are varied and volunteers will be deployed to the areas of greatest need on a daily basis. Simple but vital tasks may include acting as a "runner" around the sites, supporting low risk patients using an iPad/smartphone to call loved ones, replenishing stock, driving between locations, helping with staff wellbeing initiatives and offering general ward support.
Where can I volunteer?
Your local volunteer service is recruiting for the following hospitals and community healthcare settings:
- NHS Nightingale Hospital Birmingham (Birmingham NEC)
- Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (Edgbaston)
- Heartlands Hospital (East Birmingham)
- Good Hope Hospital (Sutton Coldfield)
- Solihull Hospital (Solihull)
- Clinical Commissioning Groups – i.e. community pharmacies, GP surgeries
- Royal Orthopaedic Hospital (Northfield)
- Birmingham Women’s Hospital (Edgbaston)
- Birmingham Children’s Hospital (city centre)
- Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust:
- Moseley Hall Hospital (Moseley, B13)
- West Heath Hospital (West Heath, B38)
- Perry Tree Centre (Kingstanding, B23)
- Ann Marie Howes (Sheldon, B26)
- Good Hope Hospital - Ward CU27
- Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust (various locations)
- Other selected local community support organisations
Example volunteer roles
The volunteer roles at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust include "Volunteer Driver" and general hospital volunteer.
How do I apply?
If you would like to get involved, please email our Voluntary Services team and ask for a volunteer application pack.
How long will the recruitment process take?
We will be carrying out the usual recruitment checks, but have a fast-track system in place. We will send you an application pack to complete and carry out an interview over the phone. You will be required to undertake an enhanced DBS check, provide information regarding your health and complete an online training package. We will aim to complete this within one to two weeks, but it may be sooner.
Will I be at risk from COVID-19?
All volunteer tasks will be risk assessed to carry the lowest risk possible.
Any patients who are displaying symptoms of coronavirus are isolated and appropriate protection is in place. To reduce the risk of catching coronavirus, social distancing (standing at least two metres apart) is in place at all of the healthcare settings where possible and everyone is asked to wash their hands between tasks. Appropriate PPE will be supplied if required for any reason.
What should I do if I get symptoms of COVID-19 when I am a volunteer?
You must follow the national guidelines and self-isolate for 7 days. If a member of your household has symptoms, you must self-isolate for 14 days and if you then develop symptoms, you must self-isolate for 7 days from when the symptoms start and have 2 days symptom free before you return to volunteering.
Will I be asked to help treat patients?
No. Our volunteers are there to support patients, relatives and staff and you will not be asked to be involved in the clinical care of any patient. Even if you have the skills you will not be able to use them as a volunteer.
I am a practicing clinician, can I volunteer?
Volunteers will not be undertaking any clinical work. If you are a clinician and would like to help out professionally, you will need to register with the relevant hospital bank or contact our clinical resourcing team. However, if you would like to help out as a volunteer you would be welcome but won’t be able to do any clinical work.
Information about our bank coronavirus job opportunities is available elsewhere on the site:
I am a non-clinical member of staff at one of the healthcare settings listed, can I volunteer on my days off?
Yes, but you still need to register. We will do a DBS check and take details of your mandatory training records.
Will I have a DBS check?
Yes, you will be subject to an enhanced DBS and both barring lists check.
I already have a DBS check - can I use this?
No, we do our own DBS check for all our volunteers.
Is it a fixed day every week?
It doesn’t need to be a fixed day but it could be. We will have opportunities for both regular and ad-hoc volunteering depending on the individual volunteer’s choice. Volunteers will be asked what their availability is and we will try to match that with the current requirements at your chosen location.
Is there a set start time?
There will be shift patterns that we will ask volunteers to sign up for, however there is some flexibility in this.
Will I be able to continue as a volunteer once the COVID-19 outbreak is over?
We always have a need for volunteers and this will continue after the pandemic has passed. However, you may be asked to commit to a specific day of the week. We also understand that many of the volunteers during this period will go back to their usual jobs when the pandemic is over.
Will this lead to paid employment at the hospital?
No. The paid recruitment processes are separate to the volunteer service recruitment processes. To apply for paid employed roles within the NHS, please visit the NHS Jobs website.
Can I claim expenses?
Yes. You will be advised how to do this when you start volunteering.