The NHS workforce has been given a boost by an influx of covid vaccination volunteers who have chosen to take up a career in the NHS.
More than 11,000 people who joined the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme have now gone on to jobs supporting medical teams, boosting patient experience and studying for clinical roles themselves.
NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, said: ‘Not only did these people help deliver the most successful NHS vaccination programme in history, protecting the public against the virus at speed, they are now continuing to help us care for others in various roles across the country.’
Since December 2020 the NHS has recruited over 71,000 people for the NHS Covid-19 vaccination programme who have helped to deliver more than 120 million doses to all age groups, including more than 32 million boosters and over 1.4 million spring boosters.
Health secretary, Sajid Javid, said: ‘Thanks to the phenomenal efforts of thousands of volunteer vaccinators during the pandemic, we’ve built a wall of defence against the virus and are learning to live with Covid.’
Alongside paid roles the NHS vaccination programme has also benefited from the support of thousands of volunteers, with more than two and a half million volunteer hours registered since the world-first jab was given to Margaret Keenan in Coventry in December 2020.
The NHS covid vaccination programme is currently rolling out spring jabs to the most vulnerable eligible groups, in line with JCVI guidance.
The shortages in NHS workforce remain a key issue of concern for leaders in the NHS, last month MPs rejected a proposed amendment to the Health and Care Bill that would have mandated greater transparency on workforce, in a move condemned by the BMA and RCGP.
Earlier this month the Health and Social Care Committee criticised the absence of any plan to tackle the chronic shortages in the cancer workforce as the NHS is lacking 189 clinical oncologists, 390 consultant pathologists and nearly 2,000 radiologists, and will be short of 3,371 specialist cancer nurses by 2030. The Committee also noted that the NHS has lost 1,704 fully qualified full-time GPs since 2015.