Coronavirus support from returning staff and students

Health Secretary’s ‘thank you’ to those supporting the NHS.

Almost 10,000 people, including more than 4,700 health care staff, have so far come forward to offer the NHS in Scotland their skills and expertise during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The figure includes medical and nursing students, retired NHS staff, those on a career break from the NHS and healthcare workers from outside the NHS.

In addition there are a number of doctors and other health professionals who may come forward as a result of the work of the professional regulatory bodies.

Depending on their specialism, there are different plans in place for students to carry out paid employment in the NHS while also being able to complete their qualifications.

New recruits joining the service on fixed-term contracts will be entitled to receive maximum sick pay entitlement, the same as staff with five years’ service. PVG and Disclosure checks are also being fast-tracked to allow new recruits to take up posts as soon as possible.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman said:

“I give my heartfelt thanks to everyone who has come forward to assist the NHS at this critical and unprecedented time.

“Our response to the COVID-19 outbreak is going to require a huge effort across all areas of health and social care. It is still possible for others to also offer their services, and if they willing and able I would encourage them to do so.

“The response we have already received shows the incredible dedication of our healthcare community, both from those just starting out in their careers and also others who have already given many years’ service.

“We owe each and every one of them, and everyone else currently working on the front line, a huge debt of gratitude.

“Those coming forward to work in our NHS are joined by the many thousands of members of the public who have signed up through the new ‘Scotland Cares’ campaign to help our communities in a variety of ways.

“The spirit and enthusiasm being shown by people from all walks of life is truly inspirational, and I thank them all.”



Of the 9,908 who have so far come forward (as at April 4, 2020), 1,370 staff have registered with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 1,700 with NHS Lothian and 6,838 through the dedicated NHS Education for Scotland (NES) Accelerated Recruitment Portal.

Data from the 6,838 registrants processed through the NES Accelerated Recruitment Portal is broken down as follows:

  • 1752 Nurses (25%), with an additional 1477 Nursing Students (21%)
  • 870 are Doctors (12%), with an additional 53 Medical Students (<1%)
  • 207 Physiotherapists (3%)
  • 149 Biomedical Scientists (2%)
  • 108 Occupational Therapists (1%)
  • 103 Midwives (1%)
  • 45 Paramedics (<1%)

All applications are now received via the NES Recruitment portal. People can register here.


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