65,000 doctors and nurses were told yesterday that “the NHS needs you”.
This comes as a new recruitment drive by the government comes into action to support the fight against the Coronavirus.
Boris Johnson said “we can send COVID-19 packing in 12 weeks” and the call for the return of former doctors and nurses is part of that strategy.
The call comes from England’s top doctor and top nurse to colleagues who have previously left the service in recent years.
Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said:
“As the health service gears up to deal with the greatest global health threat in its history, my message to former colleagues is ‘Your NHS Needs You’.”
Some have called the current pandemic ‘the greatest global health threat’ in a century.
As well as asking former NHS doctors and nurses, the government has offered final year medical students to take fully paid roles temporarily.
Retired staff as well as recent leavers will be surveyed over the phone to see what roles they could potentially fill.
Those who wish to re-join the service will be given a full induction and online training according to NHS England.
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director for the NHS, said:
“Our hardworking NHS staff are working round the clock to get ready for the peak of the pandemic, and today we are calling on former staff to come back and help us.”
“It is only right we use every means at our disposal to bolster the frontline in the face of this unprecedented challenge for the NHS.”
“By offering to return to the NHS now, these thousands of well-qualified and compassionate people will make more of a difference than ever before – not just to patients, but to colleagues and the wider community.”
But, as reported by the Mail Online, one leading GP said the government needs to ‘get a move on’ before the outbreak can potentially become out of control.
After speaking with former NHS staff members, we found that all were reluctant to return to the service.
One former nurse told us “my phone will be well and truly switched off” and “I do not know one other retired colleague of mine who wishes to return to the service.”
Indeed, The Guardian reported that ‘scores of retired NHS doctors and nurses that they are against returning to work’ citing reasons that by doing so would ‘threaten their physical and mental health’.