Surge in applications to work for NHS during pandemic

(Peter Byrne/PA)

There has been a surge in the number of people signing up to work for the NHS as the public shows support for the health service during the coronavirus pandemic.

A jump in applications on the NHS Jobs website shows that “more want to play their part” as the health service faces its greatest ever challenge, officials said.

There were 407,000 applications submitted last month – an increase of 13,500 on the same month last year.

NHS England said the jump was another demonstration of the public’s support for frontline workers as they work to treat patients with Covid-19.

NHS workers and police officers join the applause across the nation. Credit: PA

Millions have shown support through the weekly Clap for Carers and the NHS Volunteer Army initiative, and now people want to roll up their sleeves and join the health service.

The number of people registering an account on the NHS Jobs website has increased from 61,000 to 82,000 over the last month.

Roles include a range of health service work from frontline medical employees to kitchen staff and porters.

There were 27,700 jobs advertised in March.

Between March 9 and April 8, there were 907,000 visits to the NHS Jobs website, compared with 620,000 in the same period last year.

Credit: PA Graphics

The news comes after more than 25,000 recently retired doctors and nurses have volunteered to return to the NHS to help during the pandemic.

“The huge support NHS staff have received from the public has been a massive boost as they tackle the greatest global health challenge in the health service’s history,” said Prerana Issar, chief people officer for the NHS.

“We have had tens of thousands of former nurses, doctors and other staff coming out of retirement and a new generation starting their careers early to join the battle against coronavirus.

“Now it is clear that many more want to play their part by joining the largest health and care team in the world.

“From applauding carers to joining the NHS, there are lots of ways that people can contribute to what is rightly a national effort, and the best way that people can help is to follow the expert advice and stay home to slow the spread of the virus and save lives.”

Meanwhile NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens has called for people not to delay seeking medical help for non-Covid-19 issues.

While many services have been put on hold during the pandemic, the health service wants to be able to resume business as soon as it is practical.

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