The deployment of volunteers to hospital emergency departments has been piloted, and the charity’s ambulances and highly trained crews are being put at the health service’s disposal including at the Nightingale Hospital in London.

Further activity will be ramped up as the Government enables people to take time off work and volunteer on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19.

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St John is also working on fast tracking more people with existing first aid qualifications and clinical skills into the organisation, with more details to be announced shortly.

“As a charity, with around 8,500 available health volunteers, and England’s auxiliary ambulance service, St John stands ready to offer extra, immediate support to the NHS and the public, as required,” said St John Ambulance’s Ambulance and Community Response Director, Craig Harman.

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“We are working closely with NHS England and the National Ambulance Strategic Advisor on how we can support the health service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our response will build on the brilliant work St John people have been doing to support our NHS and communities during the winter months.

“We have already ramped up that work to respond to immediate needs and there is more to come but our response will need to be a marathon not a sprint. This week, as we prepare for that, I have seen our whole charity come together as one and it has been humbling.

“The need for our work has never been more relevant or urgent than now, but we are ready.”

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