Site Support referrer guide

Ambulance Support

Ambulance Support aims to support crew who are handing over patients at Accident and Emergency departments with volunteers providing Ambulance staff with refreshments and the opportunity for a friendly chat.


Who is eligible for this support?

This may be:

  • Ambulance Trusts who took part in the pilot
  • Ambulance Trusts who have spoken with their Regional Relationship Manager.

This support is not suitable for:

  • Ambulance Trusts who have not spoken to their Regional Relationship Manager to discuss suitability.

If you are interested in this support, please contact your Regional Relationship Manager.

What can Ambulance Support Volunteers do?

Prepare and serve hot and cold drinks and ambient food e.g. prepacked snacks from an onsite facility to Ambulance crews. Each volunteer shift is no longer than 4 hours and shifts need to be between 8am and 8pm.

Note: Ambulance Volunteers do not require a DBS check as they will not have any contact with patients or public on site.

How to book Ambulance Support Volunteers

Speak to your Regional Relationship Manager before making your first request.

Ambulance Support Volunteers are requested online through the GoodSAM app.

Requests via GoodSAM are to be submitted with as much notice as possible to shift start time. Short time frames may result in shifts not being fulfilled.

Amendments/cancellations (change of hours, site closure e.g. Bank Holidays) are to be submitted via GoodSAM with a minimum of 2 days notice to shift start time. Anything less than this impacts volunteer experience and reduces the likelihood of volunteers attending future shifts. It is the responsibility of each site to ensure shifts on GoodSAM are kept up to date.

Volunteers book themselves onto shifts and the requester (referrer) can check details within their GoodSAM dashboard to see if a shift will be fulfilled.

On-site information and responsibilities

You must have a named site lead who will be the main point of contact for volunteers during their shifts.

You will ensure that you have in place appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably necessary, the Ambulance Support Volunteers’ health and safety whilst volunteering on site on your behalf. This includes an on-site induction for all volunteers with the site lead.

You are also responsible for holding and maintaining appropriate insurance for Ambulance Support Volunteers who are operating on the hospital site.

You will also be responsible for verifying the identity of the volunteers on arrival on site by way of GoodSAM app photographic identification.

On-site induction

It is the Site Lead’s responsibility to provide the Ambulance Support Volunteers with an onsite induction and provide a copy of the introduction folder. This must cover essential information about their role, supporting on site and health and safety. A checklist is provided below.

Checklist for managing Ambulance Support Volunteers

  • The site facility and local site health and safety instructions.
  • The location of toilet facilities, hand sanitisation points, fire procedures or relevant accessibility information.
  • A clear brief on the tasks required and induction to site specific operating procedures.
  • When they will finish their shift.
  • A clear explanation of when and where refreshment/comfort breaks can be taken through the shift.
  • How volunteers can raise any concerns or questions during their shift.

Ongoing support during the day

  • The Site Lead should check in with all volunteers at each shift to ensure that they are happy and confident with their tasks
  • Ensure that volunteers wear hi-viz vests during their shifts
  • Ensure volunteers are aware they can access refreshments during the shift and ca take comfort breaks when required.

Sites should ensure volunteers are able to adequately perform their role. If there are performance issues that cannot be addressed locally, you can raise this with Volunteer Responders by emailing [email protected]

To maintain security on the site

  • Volunteers must wear hi-viz vests when on-site and return these when leaving
  • Volunteers should know how to immediately report any security concerns or suspicious activity
  • Volunteers should not discuss site logistics with others or on social media.

Arrival and induction

  • Ambulance Support Volunteers welcomed
  • Check the volunteer’s ID against the name provided when booking
  • The Site Lead should introduce themselves and volunteers who will be on site together on the shift (if applicable)
  • A site induction should be conducted in line with the introduction folder, as minimum this should include:
    • The site facility and local health and safety instructions
    • The location of toilet facilities, hand sanitisation points, fire procedures
    • A clear brief on the tasks required and induction to site specific operating procedures
    • When they will finish their shift
    • A clear explanation of hen and where refreshment/comfort breaks can be taken through the shift
    • How volunteers can raise any concerns or questions during their shift.

The following is a sample site induction and shift process overview, which should be tailored to local site conditions and local procedure.


If possible, during the end of a shift, thank volunteers for their time.

Remind ambulance Support Volunteers they can submit an expense claim for travel costs incurred through the programme expenses process (this can be done for volunteers deployed via the agreed GoodSAM referral route).

Print entire guide
Page last reviewed: 07 May 2024