As the pandemic places immense stress on the UK Healthcare system, the NHS has reached out to those retired from the NHS, since 2017, and asked for their help.
On the 19th March, the NHS put out a press release to introduce an initiative being called “the NHS needs you”. E-mails and letters have been sent to thousands of ex-doctors and nurses urging them to rejoin, and in some cases re-train, in order to help cope with the immense demands, the coronavirus outbreak is placing on the hospitals and health care organisations.
Health secretary Matt Hancock has spoken about how those who have left recently will be able to go straight back, and those who need it will be asked to take a refresher course. The courses will focus particularly on using the ventilators and other equipment specifically used in the treatment of coronavirus.
For those asked to go back, it can be a difficult decision. Lucy Lawrence an ex-nurse and Occupational therapist who is one of the 65,000 to be contacted stated that “They are dealing with the situation correctly and I believe it is the right thing to do”
But it’s a decision that’s not being taken lightly as Mrs Lawrence discussed “It would be a challenge both mentally readjusting and physically re-organising family life and also a challenge in reinstating our skills”
In a follow-up post on the NHS website, they stated that ‘Your support will make more of a difference than ever before, not just to patients, but to colleagues and the wider community.’
With a possible lockdown imminent its clear the government are struggling to keep up with the demands or bed space, leaving people wondering ‘What can I do?’
For more information on how to get involved go to: https://www.england.nhs.uk/coronavirus/returning-clinicians/
Article and Audio by Molly Capel