Over 11,000 people who signed up to become volunteer vaccinators will stay in the health service in other roles, NHS England has announced.
Since December 2020 the NHS has recruited over 71,000 people for the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme who have helped to deliver more than 120 million doses to all age groups, including more than 32 million boosters and over 1.4 million spring boosters.
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‘Not only did these people help deliver the most successful NHS vaccination programme in history, protecting the public against the virus at speed, they are now continuing to help us care for others in various roles across the country,’ said NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard.
‘From new starters to people who had retired, thousands took up the call to get jabs in arms in their local communities and it is fantastic that more than 11,000 people have decided to stay with us in another capacity, taking on one of the many rewarding roles across the health service.’
People up and down the country came forward to support the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme, and with training and skills built up over the pandemic have now gone on to jobs supporting medical teams, boosting patient experience and even studying for clinical roles themselves. The expanded workforce will help the NHS tackle the elective backlog as services bounce back across the country.
‘I have always loved helping people so the vaccinator role seemed like a good fit and although I don’t have any clinical experience, I received training and was able to use the leadership skills and good customer service that I had learned from my previous jobs,’ said Kazeem Reaves Odunsi, who worked as a gym manager before becoming a vaccinator and is now an assistant service manager at Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.
‘By giving someone the vaccine I felt I was helping to improve their quality of life and bring an end to the pandemic. Being part of a team that was making history and getting to meet people from a range of backgrounds and cultures, I was really inspired to stay on and start a new career in the NHS.’