- Alexander Stafford MP is backing a new law in Parliament to create NHS reservists, a new system of volunteers for the NHS, modelled on Armed Forces reservists and police special constables.
- By backing the Bill, local MP Alexander Stafford is now the NHS Reserves Champion for Rother Valley and will champion the roll-out of the NHS Reserves system locally
The NHS Reserve Staff Bill was presented in Parliament on Tuesday 24 November 2020 and backed by the Health Secretary, Matt Hancock. It will greatly benefit our area when the system is up and running.
Alexander Stafford is backing this new law, proposed by his Conservative Parliamentary colleague, Alan Mak MP.
The Bill proposes a new, uniformed standing reserve of clinical and non-clinical volunteers which NHS hospitals such as Rotherham NHS, health trusts and other Health Service bodies can call upon when staffing demands increase. Scenarios where NHS Reservists could be called up include public health emergencies, seasonal increases in demand, large public events and protests, industrial action, and critical incidents such as terrorist attacks or major accidents.
As NHS Reserves Champion, local MP Alexander Stafford will play a leading role in encouraging residents to consider applying to become NHS Reservists in both clinical and non-clinical roles.
Department of Health & Social Care figures indicate 47,000 former healthcare professionals (including retired doctors and nurses) volunteered nationally to help the NHS during the Coronavirus outbreak, with another 750,000 non-clinical volunteers signing up online via the GoodSam app. NHS figures show that around 18,000 of the clinical returners are interested in a longer-term role, such as joining the NHS Reserves.
The new law would harness this strong public desire to support the Health Service beyond the Coronavirus outbreak by creating a new, permanent NHS Reserves system to provide a formal bank of trained and vetted volunteer staff to support NHS hospitals and Trusts during periods of high demand for staff, supplementing (but not replacing) the NHS’s permanent staff.
NHS England is currently putting in place pilot schemes in all seven Health Service regions across England, including our region, to explore how the new Reservists system could operate in practice. Reservist disciplines would range from clinical roles such as doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants and carers to non-clinical roles such as drivers, electricians, logistics specialists, IT experts and communications professionals.
A new national NHS Reservists Register would be created to capture details about volunteers and their skills, including those from Rother Valley. NHS Trusts, hospital chief executives and other healthcare bodies would be able to access the Register to call-up Reservists with the skills needed at the time.
Commenting, Alexander Stafford MP said:
“The new NHS Reserves system will benefit our community and enable people to volunteer their time and skills to help our local hospitals, GPs and pharmacies. I’m delighted to be backing this important new law in Parliament to support our Health Service. The pandemic has shown how much people love our NHS and how ready they are to support the Health Service when times are tough, so I hope local people will consider becoming NHS Reservists when the system is ready.”
Commenting, Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said:
“Hundreds of thousands of people have selflessly volunteered to support our NHS during the Coronavirus pandemic, bringing out the very best in us all to help our communities and our country at this difficult time. I want us to build on that incredible collective achievement, and Alan Mak’s proposal for an NHS Reserve force is a brilliant opportunity to make this happen.”