Former and future health and social care professionals needed to help Wales respond to coronavirus
Wales’ former health and social care professionals are today [Saturday 21 March] being asked to return to work, as an emergency recruitment drive is launched to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
Wales’ Chief Medical Officer, Chief Nursing Officer and Director of Social Services and Integration have made simultaneous appeals to their colleagues to sign-up to support those affected.
Final-year students will also be offered work in the NHS to help boost the workforce over the coming months.
Chief Nursing Officer Jean White said:
“These are extraordinary times, which call for extraordinary measures to be taken to respond to the health needs of the people of Wales.
“I am appealing to all health professionals who are able to help at this time to make themselves available – our National Health Service needs you. Wales needs you.”
Chief Medical Officer Dr Frank Atherton said:
“I would like to reassure NHS Wales staff and the people of Wales that we are doing all we can to support health and social care organisations during this extremely challenging period.
“Our health service and our excellent health workers need all the support and help they can get. Our nation’s health depends on it.”
The Welsh Government’s Director of Social Services and Integration, Albert Heaney said:
“I want to reassure our dedicated social care sector that we are working with partners to ensure we protect our frontline social care staff, who play such a crucial role in caring for and supporting the vulnerable in society.
“Social Care Wales has written to the workforce and to employers to outline the measures it is taking, including how it will register those offering their invaluable experience to return and assist this collective effort.
“We want to welcome you back in to the fold.”
The plans are part of the extensive work to prepare the NHS and social care sector to provide expert care for the predicted number of people who are likely to need care as a result of contracting coronavirus.
People who have left or retired in the last three years will be asked to re-register with their relevant professional bodies. They will be asked what role they could play and how much time they can dedicate.
All returning staff will be able to ‘opt-in’ to a register to fill a range of clinical and non-clinical roles across the NHS and social care sector, based on their skills and time away from practice.
Already more than 5,000 letters have been sent to retirees across a range of roles.
The Welsh Government is also currently exploring ways to harness the skills of students who are keen to contribute. Final-year medical students, student nurses and student social workers are being offered the opportunity to take on temporary, fully-paid roles to further boost the frontline.
Those who join will be given a full induction and training.