Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic will require a national effort like we’ve never seen before. In addition to the billions of pounds of extra funding pledged by the government to give the service what it needs to cope, there’s also a critical need for those with the right skills to come forward.
This includes doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and clinical technicians who may have recently retired, switched to a non-clinical role, or moved into private practice. Almost 12,000 recently retired NHS staff have already responded to the call to return to the service. They include some 2,660 doctors, 2,500 pharmacists and 6,147 nurses.
Medical students with the necessary training are also being granted early workforce registration. These include 5,500 final-year medics and 18,700 final-year student nurses who will move to the frontline this week.
Last week the first of the government’s emergency field hospitals to treat coronavirus patients opened in east London’s ExCel centre. The temporary NHS Nightingale Hospital is able to hold as many as 4,000 patients, and is the first of several such facilities planned across the UK.
In addition to the new hospitals, the government also announced an extra £300m for community pharmacies which will play a critical role in alleviating pressure on hospitals. The government has asked pharmacy professionals who have recently left professional registers to return during the pandemic to ensure that there is adequate cover for locum staff and professionals who may be relocated to pharmacies from other services.
Although the NHS is in need of frontline medical workers to man hospitals and pharmacies, they’re also looking for people with transferrable skills such as scientists, academics and lab technicians who will be granted temporary permits to carry out certain roles during the covid-19 pandemic.
This forms part of a new 5-pillar plan, bringing together government, industry, academia, the NHS and many others to increase testing for the virus and for antibodies. Health Secretary Matt Hancock pledged that the UK will carry out 100,000 tests for coronavirus every day by the end of this month.
Details of the payment bands for many of these positions can be found on the NHS website. The government is also appealing to furloughed workers and anyone else who can offer their time and skills to join their 500,000 strong army of voluntary workers in carrying out critical ancillary work.
The NHS also received a further boost with news that the government has negotiated the write-off of £13.4m of historic debt. This will allow more than one hundred NHS hospitals to make critical infrastructure improvements. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “As we tackle this crisis, nobody in our health service should be distracted by their hospital’s past finances. Today’s £13.4 billion debt write off will wipe the slate clean and allow NHS hospitals to plan for the future and invest in vital services.”
If you’re a medical locum, someone who’s recently retired from the NHS, or someone with transferrable skills who could help in an NHS role, ContractingWise has an ideal range of fast setup and hassle-free services to help you. These include help with setting up a limited company, or same-day registration with a number of established Umbrella Companies. To talk to a member of our team, call: 0203 642 8679