The ever-changing approach to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic is difficult to stay abreast of, I signed up to “.gov” notifications to my emails a few weeks ago now and I have been astonished at the number of updates coming through. The national effort surrounding Covid-19 from the NHS, local authorities, police, military, volunteers and all the way up to top level Government is incredible and we thank you / them all. As Head of Division for the Healthcare Team here at Service Care Solutions, however, my team and I obviously pay more attention to updates which affect staffing for the NHS, so here are some of the updates which you may have missed among the plethora of news articles and press briefings:
The Government has written to 65,000 retired doctors and nurses (those having retired in the last 3 years) asking them to return to the NHS in order to help tackle to Coronavirus outbreak. Not all will be used directly to treat Coronavirus patients but this is about increasing capacity of the NHS to cope with the unprecedented increase in demand for its services which is expected.
Within 48 hours of the plea, 4000 nurses and 500 doctors had come forward to offer their help! This will no doubt be a huge boost to NHS Trusts across the country. On the 25/03/2020 the NMC announced that, if required, they would consider extending this measure to ex-registrants who left over 3 years and to international nurses who are in the process of registering.
NMC Registrants Not Currently Working in a Clinical Setting:
Some nurses leave clinical settings for jobs using their clinical knowledge but often not necessarily using their clinical skills. Often this group are fully up to speed on the latest clinical procedures and this makes them a prime group for encouraging to step back in to a clinical setting to aid the Coronavirus outbreak.
Third Year Nursing Students (final 6 months of their studies):
Student nurses who are in the final 6 months of their studies are set to change the nature of their course in order that they can opt to undertake their final 6 months of their studies as a clinical placement. These nurses would enter a specific student area of the emergency register which would have specific conditions of practice to ensure proper safeguards.
Student Nurses (not in final 6 months of their studies):
Currently first year students are due to continue their studies in non-clinical settings, so clinical placements may be cancelled. Where the educational body is continuing delivery, this should be your main focus but in your spare time you may want to volunteer or gain part time work in non-qualified clinical settings (this will not be counted towards your practice hours).
All other undergraduates (2nd year students and 3rd year students not in their final 6 months) will be allowed under emergency measure to complete 80% of their course in clinical settings which would be remunerated and count towards practice hours. The remaining 20% will be completed in an academic setting.
Nursing revalidation for current registrants is set to be extended by an additional three months; further flexibility on this is due to be sought by the NMC.
All of the measures described above are subject to Emergency Legislation (due to be announced 26/03/2020) and are currently in draft form.
It is understood that this response will be phased as and when the load on the NHS makes it necessary. For more information and to keep up to date on the latest information please refer to the NMC website.
We are currently recruiting health professionals across the country. Please send an up-to-date CV here, contact us here or call 01772 208961.