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Suffolk MP launches coronavirus scheme in bid to recruit 250,000 NHS volunteers

PUBLISHED: 07:15 25 March 2020

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced a new government scheme aiming to recruit 250,000 NHS volunteers to help those in need during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced a new government scheme aiming to recruit 250,000 NHS volunteers to help those in need during the coronavirus outbreak. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced a new government scheme which will aim to recruit 250,000 NHS volunteers to help those in need during the coronavirus outbreak.

The West Suffolk MP announced the scheme during a government briefing at number 10 today.

Mr Hancock said the Government is launching the new drive to recruit 250,000 volunteers in good health who can help the NHS support vulnerable people.

The Suffolk MP also announced that more than 35,000 extra NHS staff would be joining the fight against the virus, including retired doctors and nurses returning to the service and final year students joining the frontline.

Mr Hancock said: “Today we launch NHS volunteers.

“We are seeking a quarter of a million volunteers, people in good health to help the NHS, for shopping, for the delivery of medicines and to support those who are shielding to protect their own health.”

Mr Hancock said 11,788 recently retired NHS staff had responded to the call to return to the service.

They included 2,660 doctors, more than 2,500 pharmacists and other staff and 6,147 nurses.

“I pay tribute to each and every one of those who is returning to the NHS at its hour of need,” Mr Hancock said.

(Left to right) Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and National Medical Director at NHS England Stephen Powis answer questions from the media via a video link during a media briefing in Downing Street, London. Picture: PA Video/PA Wire(Left to right) Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and National Medical Director at NHS England Stephen Powis answer questions from the media via a video link during a media briefing in Downing Street, London. Picture: PA Video/PA Wire

Some 5,500 final-year medics and 18,700 final-year student nurses would “move to the frontline” next week.

He also confirmed that a new medical centre called the Nightingale Hospital with capacity for 4,000 people will open next week at the Excel Centre in east London with the help of the military.

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