A proposal from Local MP Alan Mak to establish the NHS Reserves has now received the green light from Government with a nationwide pilot being launched.
The Havant MP first proposed the idea in a Private Members’ Bill in Parliament in November 2020 to harness the willingness of people to support the NHS.
Throughout the Coronavirus pandemic thousands of people have stepped out of retirement to work in hospitals or to volunteer with the vaccination programme.
After Mr Mak’s proposals were supported by the Government last year, eight initial trials took place in selected NHS Trusts. These saw high levels of local enthusiasm with approximately 17,000 reservists recruited.
Following the success of these initial trials, from April 2022 the NHS Reserve National Pilot will be implemented across all 42 integrated care systems, applying the learnings from the current eight pilot schemes. The National Pilot will include Hampshire.
Reservists include both clinical and non-clinical staff, giving healthcare leaders the staffing flexibility they need, whether that is responding to seasonal increases in demand, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, health and civil emergencies or major incidents such as traffic accidents.
Through the NHS Reserve Programme, they will be given training and in-role experience to keep qualifications up to date, based upon the successful model adopted by the Armed Forces Reserves.
Mr Mak said: “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to harness the passion, skills and commitment of those who have already volunteered for the NHS and those who would like to do so in the future. The Coronavirus pandemic has shown to us how vital it is for the country to have a resilient NHS and I hope that the Reserves will become a vital part of our NHS family.
“I would welcome anyone with the skills and desire to support our NHS to come forward when the recruitment process opens.”