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FAQs for NHS Volunteer Responders

Accepting/rejecting alerts

I need help setting up the GoodSAM app and guidance on how to respond to alerts?

The step-by-step guidance for setting up the app and responding to alerts can be found in your Getting You Started Guides and on our website NHS Volunteer Responders. We also have a video you can watch to help get you started GoodSAM app video.

I have not received an alert or request to help yet?

Firstly, thank you for your patience. We are continuously looking at ways we can expand the NHS Volunteer Responder programme by raising awareness and allowing people to self-refer in for support. If you know someone who may be vulnerable and/or at risk and needs help with shopping, prescription pick-ups or just a friendly chat, they can call our Support Team on 0808 196 3646.

Do I have to accept every request that comes through?

No, only commit to what you can. Turn your ON DUTY toggle to on when you are available and select OFF when you are not available. If you do not want to accept a specific request, click 'Reject' on the GoodSAM app.

I’ve had a request but I signed up for multiple roles, I’m not sure what task is being asked of me?

Look at your notification/request for support, at the very top you will see what support is being asked of you. If you have been asked to do a task that is not within your role, please 'Pass to another volunteer'.

What happens if I accept a request but then find that I cannot make it or get delayed?

You can ‘Pass to another volunteer’ via the GoodSAM app if you can no longer help. If you have been delayed, please inform the person you are supporting as soon as you can.

My alert is for someone with suspected coronavirus (COVID-19), what do I need to do?

If members of the public are self-isolating because they have confirmed coronavirus, have suspected symptoms, or they have been in contact with someone who has, they will also be able to request support from the NHS Volunteer Responders. Alerts for this group of people will be clearly identifiable so you can choose to 'Pass to another volunteer'. Find out more about safety and social distancing whilst undertaking your role.

I have called the individual requiring support and they said they do not need help anymore?

Please click on 'Contacted – no help needed' on the GoodSAM app. You should also call the Support Team on 0808 196 3382 (available 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week) to let them know as this will ensure that any further requests or regular tasks are cancelled.

I have received an alert for Patient Transport but the appointment is in a few days?

If you are able to support the individual, just click 'Contacted – provided help', that way the alert will not be passed onto another volunteer. If you are unable to accept the request press 'Pass to another volunteer'. Please make sure you do this as soon as possible to ensure the individual can make arrangements with somebody else in time.

Can I screenshot the person’s details so I can call them later?

The details of a task will remain on your phone for 2 days minimum. We ask that you do not screenshot the details as this may transfer to a storage area like the cloud. Please note that if you select that you have completed a task (prior to actually completing it) the details will disappear.

How long will the information regarding the alert stay on my phone?

The details of a task will remain on your phone for 2 days minimum. The length of time the details will stay on your phone depends on what number volunteer you are within the alert cycle, therefore for most people the alert will be on your phone for longer than 2 days, however please be assured that if you are the last volunteer to receive the alert you will still have the details for 2 days. Please note that if you select that you have completed a task (prior to actually completing it) the details will disappear.

I have accepted a task for the future (a few days' time) but can no longer help?

Call the individual to let them know you are not able to support them. Then tell them that you will call the Support Team to ask for another volunteer to undertake this task. Please call the Support Team on 0808 196 3382 and ask them to raise a one off, identical referral for the individual to receive the support as an urgent request.

I have received an alert that is 50 miles away from me?

Unless you are a Check In and Chat Volunteer, please 'Pass to another volunteer'. This may happen if the location settings are not correct on your phone. Make sure your location settings for your phone and the app are turned on and wait for another referral to come through. However, it may be that the information from the referrer is incorrect, so if you continue to receive the same alert please call our Support Team on 0808 196 3382. If you are a Check In and Chat Volunteer, GoodSAM have now widened the alert area for this service but you are able to accept requests from further away as it does not require you to travel to their home.

I’ve been alerted to help the same individual more than twice over a 4 week period, what should I do?

You must 'Reject' the request or if you have already accepted the task, press 'Pass to another volunteer'. Do not carry out the task; for safeguarding reasons volunteers are not permitted to support the same person more than twice over a 4 week period.

I am a Check In and Chat Volunteer, can I call the same person twice over a 4 week period?

You are only able to call the same individual twice within a 4 week period. If you find that you are getting numerous alerts for the same person, please 'Pass to another volunteer' on the GoodSAM app or ring the Support Team on 0808 196 3382.

I am a Check In and Chat Plus or Community Response Plus Volunteer, can I support the same person more than twice over a 4 week period?

As these roles require a DBS certificate on application, you are able to provide ongoing support to the same individual.

Why am I receiving alerts after 6.00pm?

The GoodSAM app will only send notifications up to 6.00pm, however due to your signal/wifi availability/settings you may receive these alerts to your phone after this time. Please note our Support Team is open until 8.00pm on 0808 196 3382 if you need any help.

Why have I received an alert from yesterday?

This may happen if the referral was made and accepted by a volunteer who then dropped it after the 6.00pm cut-off. If you are unsure about whether you will be able to complete an alert, please reject it to ensure it is sent to another volunteer in time to avoid this happening.

Does being a Responder mean you will be called to an emergency? Is this the same as a First Responder for heart attacks?

You will only be asked to support tasks linked to NHS Volunteer Responder roles you agreed to do. The GoodSAM app is used by a number of organisations for different purposes, such as emergency responses. However, you will be using it as part of the NHS Volunteer Responder programme, which does not involve dealing with medical emergencies.

I can only support during the evenings and weekends, is this ok?

Yes, of course, whatever support you can offer is appreciated. You just need to ensure that when you can support, the ON DUTY toggle is turned ON in the GoodSAM app. When you are unavailable for support switch the ON DUTY toggle to OFF. That way you will never be sent requests for support when you are unavailable. 

Why am I receiving alerts for ‘NHS Non-clinical Support’?

In order to help the NHS throughout the pressures of winter, a new type of support has been developed. This has been communicated within the NHS VR e-comms. These requests for support may range from stewarding at a flu vaccination clinic to helping with low-level administration duties in a GP Surgery. This new task has been assigned to Community Response Volunteers and NHS Transport Volunteers. If you do not wish to receive these new alerts, please contact the Support Team who will be able to remove these for you. 

What is the ‘NHS Non-clinical Support’ task?

It is flexible support for your local NHS services. The requests you receive for NHS Non-clinical Support may vary each time. They can range from stewarding at a flu vaccination clinic to helping with low level administration duties in a GP Surgery. The task/alert should state specifically what you are being requesting to support. 

Why does the NHS Non-clinical support alert include a date/time?

This support will be requested in advance of the day you are needed. Therefore, the date and time that you are required to attend is included in the alert as well as any additional information that a referrer would like you to know.

I’m currently a NHS Transport Volunteer and/or Community Response Volunteer – can I stop the alerts coming through for ‘NHS Non-clinical Support’?

Yes, If you do not wish to receive these new alerts, please contact the Support Team who will be able to stop the alerts for this specific type of support.

 

Last updated 21 October 2020

 

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