Hundreds of thousands of NHS volunteers have been left with nothing to do because of a “shambles” in delivering jobs through an app. Just 3,500 daily tasks are being completed by the 750,000 Brits who signed up to volunteer for the NHS in the battle against coronavirus.
The Royal Voluntary Service which is running the app with the NHS said there has been a lack of referrals from local authorities, pharmacies and healthcare professionals to provide the jobs.
Sun reader David Smith, 44, has volunteered for 340 hours so far and not received a single request.
He said: “It’s a total shambles. I’m not alone, thousands of people are in the same position.
“The brave medics fighting this need all the help they can get and we’re here ready but they are being badly let down by poor technology and poor planning.
“Something needs to give. The app itself is full of problems. There’s bugs in the messaging service, meaning you can’t see other volunteers nearby.
Scores of one-star reviews have been left on the app’s download page, with users blasting “technical problems” and a lack of communication.
Another volunteer said: “They have cut-corners in typical fashion. The thing is not fit for purpose.
Martin Green, the chief executive of Care England, urged the NHS to redirect volunteers to care homes.
He said: “There’s probably a care home in need much closer to where these volunteers live than their local hospital.
“But the social care sector has been ignored – yet again.
“Despite all the discussion about integration, the people in the NHS only think about the NHS. There appears to have been a major miscalculation here.”
Charles Armitage, the National Care Force CEO, said: “We have got 2,000 care homes that need help with maintenance, gardening, cooking and keeping residents company. The demand is huge. We’ve tried to engage with the Government, but so far it has been incredibly painful and slow.”
Downing Street said the figure would rise and volunteers would soon be able to help care homes.