Major drive to recruit to the local NHS Reserve

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Trust is recruiting paid staff to join their NHS Reserve workforce, to support them as they tackle continued pressures. Local hospitals and NHS services will then be able to call on the ‘Reservist pool’ during peak times, for example in winter or periods of unplanned high demand, creating an extra, trained and paid resource for when it is needed.

NNUH’s Reserve Workforce is part of a national programme which was launched at eight pilot sites last year. Since then, more than 4,000 people across England have joined their local NHS Reserve.

A wide range of opportunities are on offer, including clinical and non-clinical roles, with flexible hours to enable people to fit their work around their other commitments.

NNUH Chief Nurse Professor Nancy Fontaine said: “We ran a campaign in 2020 when many people answered our call to arms. We were able to deploy some 400 people back into the NHS locally during the height of the pandemic.  Some of those have stayed with us and now we want to invite more people to return or think about joining the NHS in a way that suits them. I urge anyone interested in becoming an NHS Reservist to get in touch. I look forward to welcoming you to the Norfolk and Norwich.”

Amanda Pritchard, NHS chief executive has urged the public to enlist with their local NHS Reserve. She said: “Our new Reserve workforce will help us in our time of need but also help those who want a rewarding career in the health service. As well as being paid, Reservists will gain valuable experience and the chance to build their skillset. And most importantly, they’ll be part of our amazing NHS Reserve workforce here in Norfolk and Waveney, working as a team to make a difference to patients.”

She added: “Along with the whole country, NHS staff have had a challenging few years – they have worked incredibly hard to care for over 600,000 people in hospital with COVID, kept routine services going for people who needed them and helped the entire country get back to normal with the successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

“Their outstanding work has inspired thousands of people who want to join us in delivering care for millions of people. But the challenges for the NHS are far from over – and as we now pull out all the stops to recover services, we once again need the public’s support.”

Anyone can register their interest through the NHS Reserve website, including people who are considering embarking on a career in the NHS or former staff who are thinking of returning.

No previous experience is necessary, as full training will be provided. Support will also be provided by existing full-time staff whom they can ‘buddy up’ with before starting any role. Reservists will be paid in line with the role they are doing and can work flexibly, fitting their shifts around other commitments.

Frank Shannon from Norwich has been inspired by what he has seen from NHS staff over the last two years and joined up to one of the pilot Reserve programmes. An RAF veteran and qualified nurse, Frank has been completing two or three shifts a week at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital ever since joining the programme.

Frank said: “The support has been excellent and well organised, and it has been very rewarding to be part of the team.

“All health care personnel have an inner drive and motivation to help people. I just wanted to do my bit to make a difference, not let my clinical skills go to waste, and be part of a team again.”

Professor Em Wilkinson-Brice, Deputy Chief People Officer for the NHS said: “The whole country is massively indebted to the hard work of NHS staff over the last two years and there is no better way to show your appreciation than to stand side by side with health service colleagues as a Reservist.

“By joining the NHS Reserve at this most vital of times, not only will you be stepping up to support your NHS, you will also be joining one of the most passionate and rewarding teams in the world.”

To find out more and register your interest, search NHS Reserve.


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