Fire service staff, along with those from other emergency services, have now joined health and social care professionals in England in being able to refer any vulnerable patients who are self-isolating to NHS Volunteer Responders for help with tasks such as collecting shopping and prescribed medicines, driving patients to medical appointments or transporting supplies between sites.

The scheme is already helping thousands of people every day and hundreds of thousands of volunteers are available to help. You can make referrals through the NHS Volunteer Responders referrers' portal

It is now also open for self-referrals from people who have been advised to shield and those most at risk who are isolating at home from coronavirus. These people can ask volunteers for short-term help by calling 0808 196 3646 between 8am and 8pm. Please pass this number on to patients who could benefit from this support. You can find more information about the programme at