Check In and Chat re-launched to support lonely patients

The NHS has re-launched its ‘Check In and Chat’ service to help support lonely and isolated patients.

More than 1,000 volunteers have signed up to help drive the initiative by offering a listening ear to those in need.

Those who use the service can request either a one-off call or a series of calls to help them reconnect with society while allowing them to share anything from support needs to their stories and experiences. 

Where appropriate, the volunteers may share ideas on how the patient can expand their network and boost their well-being e.g. through joining an exercise class or volunteering.

Check In and Chat was originally devised during the pandemic as a lifeline for those struggling with loneliness.

GPs and healthcare professionals have since decided to relaunch the service when they noticed an increase in patients withdrawing from social situations (in most instances, not out of choice). 

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said: “It is fantastic that over a thousand volunteers have now signed up again to provide these invaluable calls for patients that are vulnerable, isolated or lonely, and to help our staff in providing the best care possible.

“It is very easy for GPs, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare workers to refer patients to the Check in and Chat service through a simple online platform – and we know what a difference a neighbourly phone call can make if you’re feeling isolated or in need of some support.”

Want to become a Check In and Chat volunteer? Visit the NHS website to sign up and find out more.