Coronavirus (COVID-19) - call for additional health professionals: Chief Nursing Officer letter

A letter from the Chief Nursing Officer, Fiona McQueen calling for additional health professionals to return to the NHS to help with the current public health emergency.

The people of Scotland need Scotland’s nurses and healthcare colleagues to care for them now more than ever. The current public health emergency is unprecedented and we are predicting that in addition to the illness affecting individual members of society, that there will also be a significant number of healthcare staff who will themselves be unable to work either through personal illness or caring responsibilities. The impact on our health service may be prolonged and so we will need additional support over the coming weeks and months to ensure that we keep our workforce healthy and able to care for those who need us.

If you have left the professional register within the last three years as a Registered Nurse, Midwife, paramedic, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, diagnostic or therapeutic radiographer, biomedical scientist, pharmacist or pharmacy technician or medical practitioner then I would appeal directly to you to ask if you would be willing to return to the NHS in your professional capacity, whether as a full time or part time professional, now or at any point in the coming months. Any contribution you can make will be very welcome. The Regulatory Bodies (NMC, GMC, HCPC, GPhC) have put in place processes to provide for temporary emergency registration, which will ensure you are able to work in your professional capacity within a very short period of time.

I realise you may have many questions and we will provide answers to these as soon as we can. We have provided some additional guidance (including answers to frequently asked questions) which will be continuously updated. But please let me reassure you it is our intention that no-one who re-registers will suffer financial detriment, and in addition the regulatory bodies will be waiving any fee payments to return to the register.  

The Regulatory Bodies are writing to all registrants who have left the professional register in the last three years, and so you may have already been contacted, however they can only do so to your last registered postal or email addresses, and so I am providing an alternative mechanism for you to get in touch. If you are interested in working within the NHS in Scotland please access the Health and Social Care COVID-19 Accelerated Recruitment Portal which allows health and social care professions to log their skills, location and the work they are able to undertake during the coronavirus outbreak. The portal is managed by NHS Education for Scotland. Deployment of applicants within health and social care will be handled at local level. 

Volunteers who want to support their communities should visit to find out how they can help.

Fiona McQueen

Chief Nursing Officer

More information

Read the guidance on returning to registered professional practice (19 March 2020).


Telephone: 0141 278 2719


Please title your email 'COVID19 re-registration'.

Include the following in your email:

  • name

  • professional group

  • normal place of residence

  • contact telephone number

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