Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guide for health professions considering a return to the NHS Scotland

Guidance for different health professions consider a return to the NHS Scotland to help in the fight against COVID-19.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): guide for health professions considering a return to the NHS Scotland
Registered medical practitioners

Registered medical practitioners

Thank you for your interest in helping the NHS fight COVID-19. The virus has the potential to put huge additional demand on our NHS and our fellow citizens. Your support will make more of a difference than ever before, not just to patients, but to colleagues and the wider community.

Your regulatory body should have written to you about temporary registration, however if you have moved house or changed email address in the last three years, or if you would like more information, please go to the GMC website. There will be no fee payable to join the temporary register. You will need to join the GMC temporary register as a first step.

Then, to join the NHS Scotland workforce you will need to contact 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 who will then pass your details onto the relevant NHS Board. Deployment of applicants within health and social care will then be arranged by the appropriate NHS Board indicated in your preferences The portal also contains common questions about COVID-19 recruitment.

Even if you fall into a group which is considered to be at increased risk, you can still offer valuable support through a variety of roles in secondary, community and primary care that are not patient-facing.

The information on this web page applies only to Scotland. If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, please visit the relevant website:

Medical students

Your university may have already asked you if you would be interested in taking up temporary paid employment within Boards – either as interim FiY1 Foundation posts or as Healthcare Support Workers depending on your level of medical education and training, the needs and demands of the service, and the availability of posts as it responds to this pandemic.

There is no compulsion for medical students to take up any such roles, and it is a decision for each student or those who have graduated or nearly graduated, as to whether to come forward to offer their service.

Students who do not take up these roles will not be adversely affected and temporary employment in any role is not part of your formal medical training.

If you are not a final year student then you will require a letter of assurance from your University that taking up any temporary role such as a Healthcare Support Worker will not adversely impact on your studies. If you are employed temporarily, you will not be asked to undertake any activity beyond your level of competence.

NES is responsible for recruiting all FiY1 posts for final year students and will also be the Employer. 

Medical schools have confirmed their timescales for graduating students and once this has been confirmed, the GMC will write to you about gaining provisional registration. Whilst awaiting the confirmation of your provisional registration from the GMC, you should commence your application for a FiY1 post via the portal managed by the UK Foundation Programme Office (UKFPO). Any queries on how to complete your application should be addressed to helpdesk@foundationprogramme.nhs.uk.

Where it is not possible to match you to an available FiY1 post, the Scottish Foundation School will be in touch to ask if you would wish to be considered for a Healthcare Support Worker role. Alternatively, all medical students whether final year or not, may provide an expression of interest for such a role via NES’s Health and Social Care COVID-19 Accelerated Recruitment Portal

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