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Hundreds of nurses who joined emergency register never contacted

Nursing and Midwifery Council set up the COVID-19 temporary register in March 2020 so nurses who had left the profession could help during the pandemic
Nursing and Midwifery Council building plague

Nursing and Midwifery Council set up the COVID-19 temporary register in March 2020 so nurses who had left the profession could help during the pandemic

Hundreds of nurses and midwives who joined the COVID-19 emergency register have never been contacted by employers to take up their offers of help during the pandemic, a survey suggests.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) temporary register was set up in March 2020 so nurses who had previously left the profession could help boost the workforce during the pandemic.

Many on the NMC's temporary register have had no word

Nursing and Midwifery Council set up the COVID-19 temporary register in March 2020 so nurses who had left the profession could help during the pandemic

Vaccination centres were the most common deployment setting, but survey suggests that many nursing staff have still not received offer of employment or started practising
Picture: Alamy

Hundreds of nurses and midwives who joined the COVID-19 emergency register have never been contacted by employers to take up their offers of help during the pandemic, a survey suggests.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) temporary register was set up in March 2020 so nurses who had previously left the profession could help boost the workforce during the pandemic.

Many on the NMC's temporary register have had no word from potential employers

But a survey of 3,690 people on the temporary register in August 2021 found 1,068 had not yet received an offer of employment, or started practising.

Of that number, 78% said they had not been contacted by potential employers.

‘I did all the basic training available and vaccine courses, but no one got in touch,’ said one survey respondent.

Another added: ‘I felt there were areas where I would have been useful, but was never called; for example helping with the vaccination programme.’

Some respondents to NMC survey open to idea of rejoining permanent register

The figures come as the government renewed calls for retired nurses to support the NHS through the NHS Reserves programme. The programme is intended to enable hospitals to call on skilled staff, including retired nurses, at times of high demand.

The NMC survey also found 46% of respondents were still working, with one third open to the idea of rejoining the permanent register.

Vaccination centres were the most common deployment setting, followed by hospitals, primary care and screening or contact tracing services.

NMC chief executive Andrea Sutcliffe said the survey highlighted the vital contributions made by those on the temporary register, but also showed some people haven’t had opportunities to help.

Stress, burnout and poor workplace culture cited as reasons for quitting

‘But the pandemic isn’t over,’ she added.

‘With severe pressure on health and care services as we face winter, and with the vaccination booster programme accelerating, the temporary register will continue to play an important role.’

The NMC survey also found 430 people had stopped practising. Half (52%) said they were no longer needed by their employer or their contract had ended, but one in four (25%) cited stress and burnout, lack of support and poor workplace culture as reasons for quitting.

The temporary register will stay open until the government declares the emergency over.


Find out more

NMC (2021) Covid-19 Temporary Register: Snapshot Analysis


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