This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pulse june2020 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

GPs go forth

Government formally launches 'NHS needs you' campaign for retired GPs

An ‘The NHS needs you’ campaign is launching today, urging more than 65,000 former doctors and nurses - including 5,000 GPs - to return to work to support the efforts against coronavirus.

Health secretary Matt Hancock has taken the step to officially contact them, following the GMC’s prelude that it would be addressing those who fall under its remit

Medics who left the profession within the last three years, but still have ‘up to date skills and experience’, will receive contact from their regulator, such as the GMC, over the next few days, about re-registering. 

However, it has been stressed that those considered vulnerable to coronavirus will not be expected to participate. Recent leavers, including retirees, will be surveyed on the type of role most applicable to them, be it over the phone or NHS 111, although there is the option of them conducting face-to-face work. 

Those eligible can ‘opt in’ to a register specifying if they would prefer non-clinical roles, which is also dependent on their skillset and how long has passed since they last practiced.

Mr Hancock said: ‘To further boost the ranks of our NHS, we are now turning to people who have recently left the healthcare professions who can bring their experience and expertise to our health system.

‘They can play a crucial role in maximising our capacity to fight this outbreak – and wherever they can help, they will be hugely welcomed.

‘This continues to be a huge national effort to protect lives and protect our NHS, and I urge everyone to continue following the latest medical advice.’

Members of the ‘NHS army’ will be given a full induction and online training prior to re-joining the workforce.

Covid-19, of which there are currently 3,269 confirmed cases in the UK, is being described as the ‘greatest global health threat’ in a century.

Final year medical students and student nurses are also being offered the chance to take temporary, fully-paid roles to further boost NHS capacity. 

Pulse spoke to a retired GP who has already been asked by practices to return to work. Dr Farah Saad, 66, of north London, last practiced in 2018. She said: ‘I will help over the phone, but I won’t come into a practice’.

Professor Stephen Powis, the NHS' national medical director, added: ‘It is only right we use every means at our disposal to bolster the frontline in the face of this unprecedented challenge for the NHS.

‘By offering to return to the NHS now, these thousands of well-qualified and compassionate people will make more of a difference than ever before – not just to patients, but to colleagues and the wider community.’

Medical defence organisation MDDUS has also automatically reinstated free-of-charge support to the membership profile of all its retired doctors who left practice within the last three years.

Chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty is also leading new TV adverts, as the Government devises new public-facing campaigns to reach more of the population. Launching yesterday, they aim to explain the evolving guidance in layman’s terms.

Related images

  • matt hancock paul stuart 36 525x350px

Readers' comments (28)

  • Council of Despair

    it's strange how we don't see any politicians having photo ops in hospitals? in the election you couldn't keep conservative MPs out! I wonder if any conservative health misinters have bothered to even pop into their local hospital to offer help?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Dr Chand, first name on the list? :)

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Dear all. Unless Matty offers you £££££££ tell him to go and app himself.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Dr Gerada has told the World of her experience as a Coronavirus victim; perhaps she would like to put her experience and immunity to work on the front lines? And all those working for the Appraisal Stasi have now got a lot of free time on their hands.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The front line,is that somewhere between 'no mans land' and the Royal college?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The government will only continue to screw us long after taking advantage of you.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Having reflected (!) on this, I just feel so desperately sad about the comment that this makes about human nature. They have systematically abused us since the "disastrous 2004 contract" when they felt they'd been had over. And now there's no goodwill left at all and we are refusing to step into the jaws of medico-legal and regulatory hazard.
    Such a tragic waste of a once amazingly well motivated workforce. Not so long ago, that we had the problem of 70+ yr old GPs still wanting to work.
    So sad....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Covid-19, of which there are currently 3,269 confirmed cases in the UK, is being described as the ‘greatest global health threat’ in a century
    A bigger threat than cardiovascular disease (or a long list of other diseases)?

    Not to trivialise the coronavirus but the pandemic I'd fear would have the transmission rate of measles with the fatality rate of ebola.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Puts us in an impossible dilemma. Part of retiring and “relinquIshing Licence to Practice” was also such a difficult decision - but years of not being able to adequately care for patients because of increasing admin, regulation, underfunding and in addition the requirement to do endless CPD in what was left of spare time made it the only possible decision. And now we are supposed to go back - lambs (or mutton) to the slaughter - at the same time we went into the fray because we cared about people.
    No mention anywhere of what happens re pension, and pay. But we were doing so much for free anyway...
    Totally torn. Not to mention my 91 year old mum and concerns for her with no guarantee of PPE.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • @9:29
    Don’t feel torn. Look after your Mum. The patients will always find another way. But you’re the only one for your Mum.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page50 results per page

Have your say