medical schools council

Student volunteering

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This page has been created to link medical students and others to non-medical volunteering opportunities during the coronavirus outbreak. It recognises the current need for volunteers to assist vulnerable people and key workers across the UK alongside the desire of many medical students to support their local communities.

Medical student volunteers in the NHS 

The Medical Schools Council has set out expectations on volunteering for employers, medical schools and students. 

This document refers to volunteering roles suitable for medical students with some clinical experience, in roles that utilise their knowledge and skills above and beyond those that may be offered by non medical student volunteers. It refers to paid, structured part-time work that students may volunteer to undertake.

Before volunteering, you must remember that your first priority should be your continuing education. You must not jeopardise your readiness to qualify in the future by taking on too many additional responsibilities.

If you want to volunteer within the NHS, you must be supervised to be safe and act within your competence at all times. Arrangements should be made locally, and employers should give you relevant induction, equipment and support. 

In line with this guidance, NHS England and NHS Improvement have stated that NHS organisations can choose to deploy medical students which are currently on clinical placements in acute trusts in their region to do paid volunteer work caring for patients whilst on these placements. Medical students can sign up for paid work of up to 12 hours per week to support clinical services, with the agreement of their medical school. Click here to download NHSEI's guidance.

Other volunteering groups

HealthSHIP | Health Students Helping in Pandemics

HealthSHIP is a web-based app that allows students to offer their support to NHS staff for tasks like babysitting, pet care, picking up medicine and grocery shipping. To sign up as a volunteer you will need a university email address. 

National Health Supporters

National Health Supporters is a directory for known networks of students across the country assisting NHS staff with their needs. The aim is for volunteers to alleviate pressures on NHS staff including, but not exclusive to, childcare, grocery shopping and pet sitting. 

Volunteer for the NHS | Generation Medics

This is a volunteer-led project connecting the NHS with people who can volunteer their skills and time to support the NHS and the community. You can choose to volunteer in your community, to volunteer in your local hospital or surgery or to volunteer at the NHS Nightingale Hospital. 

Covid-19 Infographics 

Volunteers for the group Covid-19 Infographics have helped to curate infographics on Covid-19 in a variety of different languages. They would welcome volunteers who can create content, translate material, become community managers and spread the word on social media. 


Please note that the MSC is providing this page for information only and is not responsible for or involved in the running of these groups. Identifying these opportunities does not constitute or imply any endorsement or recommendation by MSC nor that MSC has made any enquiries that these volunteering programmes will comply with all relevant health and safety guidance and other legislation during the outbreak.  MSC does not accept any liability for any loss or injury arising through any of the volunteer opportunities listed on this site.  You must make your own assessment of the safety of these opportunities and the adequacy of any training provided and direct any queries to the relevant organisation.