RETIRED medics have been stopped returning to the Covid frontline by “impossible” NHS red tape – including needing 21 pieces of evidence.
Former doctor Claire Baker said she was unable to apply to work to help in the pandemic fight because she didn’t have enough proof.
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Retired medics say they are being blocked from helping in the fight against Covid (stock image)[/caption]
She felt it was “impossible” for her to join the frontline, and said it was unlikely even a current doctor could provide the documents required.
She told the Telegraph: “I am not proud – if they just want me to point people in the right direction I am happy to do that.
“But I have spent my life doing jabs like this. It is very frustrating.”
Andrew Foster, who co-ordinated workforce supply and deployment for the NHS until July, told the Telegraph that only one in eight retired doctors and nurses who had applied to return to work were able to do so.
He said 40,000 medics applied to re-join the workforce at the start of the pandemic in March.
Of those, 30,000 were eligible but only 5,000 had been given jobs by July.
Mr Foster said he had tried to create a “reserve” of NHS volunteers, but that officials ignored his calls.
An NHS spokesman said they were “delighted that former members of NHS staff have applied to become vaccinators and have completed their online training, and we continue to process these as fast as we possibly can”.
They added that checks were being carried out “regardless of a person’s background”.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said NHS England was “working to increase the employment rate” of former medics who had come forward to help, while the “concept of a permanent NHS reserve” was being considered.
It comes as Covid-19 patients at London hospitals could be taken to Yorkshire as ICU units reach breaking point at 114 per cent capacity.
Medics are also said to be considering using war-style triage tents to treat the ever-increasing number of virus patients as a super-infectious new strain rip roars through the capital.
The triage tents are usually used in extreme cases which see a sudden influx of patients, like a terror attack.
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The terrifying coronavirus boom has seen officials at some London hospitals request several major Yorkshire hospitals take on Covid-19 patients, reports the Health Service Journal.
The Royal Free in the capital has already decided to move its children’s inpatients unit to another hospital to free up space for adult patients, Covid and non-covid sufferers alike, reports The Guardian.
And an insider has warned January 4 will be the “zenith” of the crisis.