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Major drive launched to recruit NHS reservists to tackle COVID-19 backlog

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Major drive launched to recruit NHS reservists to Major drive launched to recruit NHS reservists to tackle COVID-19 backlog

Thousands of new NHS ‘reservists’ will be recruited to support the health service as staff tackle COVID-19 backlogs, the head of the NHS Amanda Pritchard has announced.

The NHS is urging the public to enlist as a reservist, with a wide range of opportunities available, including assisting people who are being discharged from hospital or as part of the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme.

Anyone can register their interest through a new website, launching today, including people who are interested in embarking on a career in the NHS or former staff who might want to return.

Local hospitals and NHS services can then call on the ‘NHS reservist community’ depending on their staffing requirements and pressures in their area, creating a bank extra resource for when it is needed.

‘Along with the whole country, NHS staff have had a challenging few years – they have worked incredibly hard to care for over 600,000 people in hospital with

COVID-19, kept routine services going for people who needed them and helped the entire country get back to normal with the successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme,’ said Ms Pritchard.

Read more: Nursing graduates will be hit by proposed loan repayment changes

‘Their outstanding work has rightly inspired thousands of people who want to join us in delivering care for millions of people, which is why we are introducing this new drive for NHS reservists. Reservists will help us in our time of need but also help those who want a rewarding career in the health service – the roles are flexible and can fit around your lifestyle.’

Since its initial pilot launch at five sites last year, more than 17,000 people have signed up to this scheme.

No previous experience is necessary with full training provided and NHS reservists will be paid in line with the role they are doing. Support will also be provided by existing full-time staff that they can ‘buddy up’ with before starting any role.

Read more: Regulations making COVID-19 vaccination a condition of deployment to end

‘Former healthcare workers coming out of retirement played a vital role in the national mission to roll out vaccines, as did the many selfless volunteers who came forward to support the NHS,’ said Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid.

‘We want to build on this invaluable resource as recover and reform, which is why we’re now recruiting an army of NHS reservists. If you want to help the NHS care for patients and tackle the COVID backlog please sign up today.’

What do you think? Leave a comment below or tweet your views to @IndyNurseMag

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A few months ago, I registered my interest in becoming an NHS Reservist. However, I have still not heard anything back, from anyone, running this programme, not even an acknowledgment. Could someone kindly tell me, what is happening with the NHS Reservist Programme?
Posted by: ,
I`ve seen several recent articles about the ongoing staff shortages and now this about reservists. As a recently retired and return District nurse we have had to fight for a 6 month extension on the suspension of abatement. So now on 31/10/22 this group of experienced staff will be forced to reduce hours just as NHS starts to enter winter pressures again !!!! Suspension of abatement needs to be maintained indefinitely. The DoH response to the woefully short consultation last week on abatement completely ignored stakeholders views instead saying that retire and return staff can still work substantial hours. This is not true and in general higher grade staff will be reduced to 16hrs. At present I manage a Community Nurse team of 43 staff on 34hrs per week, this role will not be sustainable on reduced hours but the DoH would obviously rather see staff suach as me ( qualified DN and Queens Nurse) leave the NHS whilst it recruits reservists! When are any of our professional bodies going to fight this madness ?
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