NHS appeals for 250,000 volunteers

Matt Hancock has announced that the NHS is appealing for a total of 250,000 “volunteer responders” to make sure it and other local services get all the support that they need.

Speaking instead of the Prime Minister at the latest coronavirus press briefing this afternoon, the Health Secretary fielded questions on the health service and the government’s response to the virus.

The Health Secretary said: “We’re seeking a quarter of a million volunteers, people in good health, to help the NHS for shopping, and for delivery of medicines and to support those who are shielded to protect their own health.

“The ‘NHS volunteer responders’ is a new scheme set up so that people can come and help and to make sure that the NHS and the local services that are needed get all the support that they can.”

On Monday evening, the Prime Minister announced the strictest measures since the outbreak of the coronavirus in the UK, telling people to “stay at home” at all times, with only a few limited reasons allowed to leave your home.

Businesses providing non-essential products were told to close and people were told not to go to work unless they had to – but confusion ensued this morning as people were unsure as to what constituted “essential work”.

Labour has called on the government to clearly clarify who should be going to work. The party is also pushing for the introduction of support for five million self-employed workers in the UK.

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