Comment

Why hamper retired nurses keen to help the coronavirus vaccine roll-out?

If ever there was a time to cut NHS red tape, it’s now

Embracing the skills of retired clinicians for the COVID immunisation programme would be a victory for common sense

Seeing our vaccination centre down the road in full swing, on the national news, no less, fills me with an illogical pride. If ever we needed all hands on deck, its now.

The pandemic situation is dire, yet the new vaccines give us hope, and there is an army of retired clinical professionals as keen as mustard to play their part in delivering them.

Heaven knows, we need them.

If a global pestilence is not good enough reason to bypass the tedium of a manual-handling class, you wonder what kind of worldwide emergency there would have to be?

They are not

Embracing the skills of retired clinicians for the COVID immunisation programme would be a victory for common sense

Picture: iStock

Seeing our vaccination centre down the road in full swing, on the national news, no less, fills me with an illogical pride. If ever we needed all hands on deck, it’s now.

The pandemic situation is dire, yet the new vaccines give us hope, and there is an army of retired clinical professionals as keen as mustard to play their part in delivering them.

Heaven knows, we need them.

‘If a global pestilence is not good enough reason to bypass the tedium of a manual-handling class, you wonder what kind of worldwide emergency there would have to be?’

They are not put off by the threat of personal danger, even though they are likely to be in a higher-risk group due to age, they’re willing to travel and are up for working long hours.

So what is stopping them? It’s NHS bureaucracy.

Perhaps on this occasion, statutory anti-terror training can wait

Before anyone can get back in harness, they must go on a course. Or two, or three.

In the case of one retired nurse I know, the number of statutory training sessions she was required to complete reached double figures, including one on anti-terrorism. Sad to say, she gave up in disgust.

In normal circumstances, of course, we should have preparatory training, but these circumstances are anything but normal.

If a global pestilence that is threatening human existence is not good enough reason to bypass the tedium of a manual-handling class, you wonder exactly what kind of worldwide emergency there would have to be?

An invasion of man-eating triffids? The moon falling from the sky and landing on Manchester?

Dithering incompetence of NHS bureaucracy squanders volunteers’ goodwill – and skills

It was the same last spring, when retired staff were called on to help in our hospitals.

A capable and experienced ex-nurse friend – who would have been a godsend to any intensive care unit – spent a day filling in extensive forms to get back to work.

She was eventually contacted and told those forms were obsolete and given another load to complete.

She sent them all off and never heard from anyone again. She concluded she wasn’t needed – but I suspect she was reading that wrong. It was NHS bureaucracy again, in all its dithering incompetence.

It’s not the understaffed, low-paid folk who do their level best in human resource departments – it’s those in charge, whose priorities are strangely at odds with the rest of humanity’s.

As I write, a glimmer of common sense has been glimpsed on the horizon, so unnecessary training such as preventing terrorism and fire safety can be foregone, and maybe the proffered help from retirees can be expedited.

Let’s hope that is true.


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