Senior NHS officials have emailed an estimated 65,000 former staff members stating the country’s national health service needs their help following a continuing rise in coronavirus cases.
Echoing Lord Kitchener’s famous WW1 call for arms, retired doctors and nurses were told that ‘Your NHS needs You’ as the government and health trusts rush to ensure hospitals are sufficiently equipped with staff and supplies.
Government ministers are urging that any former employee who has quit or retired in the past three years should return to work and re-register with either the General Medical Council for doctors or the Nursing and Midwifery Council for nurses.
Both of these professional watchdogs alongside government and NHS figures have told former professionals that they will need to complete a brief online survey, on their experience and skills, before being offered roles in hospitals, GP surgeries, social care services and the NHS 111 helpline.
Meanwhile, a number of hotel chains have entered talks with the government about offering up extra bed space to help hospitals amid fears of shortages. One of the participating chain’s, Best Western, has already promised to give up 15,000 bedrooms – a figure representing 90 per cent of the company’s total capacity.
Despite these measures moving quickly, the NHS is reluctant to put a figure on the number of former doctors and nurses they expect to bring back to work. However, Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock stated that he hoped to ‘get our hands on as many as possible’.
Hancock confirmed that all returning staff would be paid fully, according to the amount of time they can work, as well as receiving training and an induction back into the NHS. The health service is also considering allowing some of the most experienced trainee doctors and nurses to join the front line, as well as medical students in the final year of their degrees being given the green light to take up paid roles without having to pass their final set of exams.
Friday’s measures from the country’s national health service follow a 38 per cent increase in UK’s coronavirus death toll with the number jumping from 104 to 144 in 24 hours. As it stands there are 3,269 confirmed cases of the virus in the UK with 163 countries worldwide recording coronavirus outbreaks.