Temporary workforce provides a boost to Trust

Third year  nursing students at Kent and Canterbury Hospital
Some of the third-year nursing students who have joined the Trust to help during the coronavirus outbreak

Published on 24 April 2020

East Kent Hospitals has welcomed more than 300 temporary staff members to help during the coronavirus outbreak.

The number includes more than 100 doctors, nurses, midwifes, pathologists, pharmacists and therapists, as well as more than 60 people who have recently retired.

More than 60 overseas nurses have joined the team after being allowed to join an emergency register with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and more than 50 third-year student nurses have given up their student status months before they had to.

Peter Orsman, senior nurse in the resourcing team, said: “We welcome each and every new colleague, whether it is someone bringing years of experience who has temporarily turned their back on retirement, or whether it is a student nurse at the start of their career but keen to step forward and help.

“Our staff continue to show the same dedication and care for our patients and these new team members will give them a much-needed boost as they continue their work across the wards and departments of the Trust.”

The student nurses will be known as aspirant nurses under a new Government scheme, and will be joined in June by second-year students, classed as clinical support workers.

Mr Orsman paid tribute to colleagues in the resourcing team, as well as those in workforce development, education and training, who had risen to the challenge of welcoming so many new starters at the same time.

He said: “It has been a mammoth task, but the teams have adapted very quickly to carry out the necessary assessments to make sure everyone joining us is safe and prepared for the challenges ahead.

“We are extremely grateful to everyone who has joined us – including the ever-increasing army of volunteers - for stepping up and to help us to continue to deliver great care in difficult circumstances.

“They really will help make the lives of both patients and staff that little bit easier.”