Working with the NHS

Housing associations are working with the NHS and other health organisations on the frontline of the country's response to the coronavirus crisis.

NHS Volunteer Responder Scheme  

NHS England and NHS Improvement have set up a volunteer responder scheme in partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service.

Health and social care professionals can refer any vulnerable people who are self-isolating for help with tasks such as collecting shopping and prescribed medicines, transport to medical appointments or transporting supplies between sites such as personal protective equipment.

The scheme has 600,000 volunteers on board who are providing help to thousands of vulnerable people every day. You can make referrals by completing an online form or by calling 0808 196 3382.

The scheme is also open for self-referrals for 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.

Find out more about the programme

Communities Together

Communities Together celebrates housing associations’ work with residents, partners and communities in the fight against coronavirus.

Housing associations on the frontline with the NHS

Together Housing teamed up with a photographer to take pictures of their residents at home. Photographs were gifted to residents to share with social distanced loved ones. For each photograph taken, Together Housing made a donation to NHS charities. 

One of Honeycomb Group’s residents, 90-year-old Harold recovered from coronavirus and is now receiving support from their 'Hospital to Home' team. They have fitted a key safe so carers can access his home easily and fitted a lifeline in case of a fall.

They have spoken to his GP, referred him to occupational therapy and will be fitting grab rails, a bed rail and toilet frame to make sure his home fits his needs. Honeycomb has also contacted the DWP as he is entitled to benefits to help with his care.

Sovereign’s 30-year relationship with the NHS and hospital trusts has led them to be one of the largest providers of purpose-built keyworker accommodation in the country. In the past 12 months they have provided homes for more than 6,500 key workers.

During the coronavirus crisis this key worker accommodation has remained open, supporting the six NHS trusts they are in partnership with, to house more short-term staff.

Rent increases and car parking charges for key workers have been postponed until at least 1 August and each resident has been contacted to ask if they need any further support, such as additional cleaning equipment if they have to self-isolate.

Sovereign has also donated £5,000 to a crowdfunder scheme supporting key workers who need a bicycle to get to work. One of the bikes went to Bethany Moore, a healthcare assistant in theatre – meaning she doesn’t have to rely on taxis or other people for lifts, when she’s doing shifts at different times of the day.

Metropolitan Thames Valley has been supporting NHS staff by providing frontline services to 1,600 NHS key worker residents across nine housing schemes in the UK.