Creating NHS Emergency Reserves

The primary reason for the economic and social restrictions that we have all faced during this pandemic has been to protect the NHS and prevent it being overwhelmed. The consequences of that happening for any government are very damaging, as are the effects of the lockdowns on individuals. It is widely known that in ‚’normal‚’ times NHS acute services operate at full capacity sometimes. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on this problem with staff sickness increasing due to high infection rates and absence due to self-isolation. The building of facilities likes the Nightingale hospital has been impressive but without the staff they cannot function. One of the responses to the issue has been to draft in ex doctors and nurses to bolster the workforce at this time. My suggestion is to build on this and create a permanent reserve workforce that can be drafted in to help in the future when emergencies such as this and other future unknown events arise. Just like the army has a territorial wing couldn‚’t the NHS have a reserve army of its own? This might include retired qualified medical staff but also could include students and young people who might receive some form of basic training to perform more routine tasks. Whilst this will cost money it would be far less than the costs of having to go through this type of situation again where there is no capacity in the system. Staff skills and experience would be retained. It also might be a way of attracting more people into the workforce on a permanent basis and give young people an inside view of the challenges that are being faced by the NHS as well as a potential career opportunity.




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