Covid-19 - Returning Doctors/Nurses/AHPs and Volunteers (including DBS)
Doctors/Nurses/AHPs - Wherever you can help, you’re needed
There has been a fantastic response to the government's request for doctors and other health professionals that had left the profession to return and assist with the Covid-19 crisis. NHSE have set up a webpage to say "thank you" to all Doctors and also to give details to those who are still waiting for a response. Specifically for GPs, NHSE advise that if you haven’t heard from NHS England and NHS Improvement or from the General Medical Council but want to volunteer, please email the team at email@example.com
Any Locum GPs or active GPs who currently have capacity to increase their workload can also sign up to the NHSE scheme, details can be found on NHSE webpages here.
Click here to download a copy of the abridged application form that Doctors will need to complete and return to NHSE if they need to rejoin the performers list.
The GMC has given recently retired GPs temporary registration and a 'license to practice'. It was initially for GPs who had retired in the last 3 years this has now been extended to 10 years.
The GPC has also published guidance for Retired GP returning to practice which can be seen via this link which explains this in more details - please share this with any recently retired GP you know - they can all help in different ways depending on their skill set.
The RCGP are making their entire eLearning content freely available to support all returning GPs and primary healthcare professionals. This includes our new COVID-19 Resource Hub which has a growing range of practical tools and guidance.
E-learning for Healthcare have a dedicated webpage for Covid-19 modules including one for GP Returners.
For more information about resources available, please see our web page https://www.wessexlmcs.com/retainersreturners
Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) has recently added a new learning pathway for nurses deployed into a primary and community care setting to its e-learning programme designed to help the health and care workforce respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new pathway can be found here:
This is a full list of learning pathways available under the programme entitled ‘ Resources for Nurses, Midwives and AHPs Returning to work, being Redeployed or Up-Skilled ’:
- Registered nurses and AHPs deployed from a different clinical specialty
- Returning nurses
- Newly registered nurses and AHPs, or students opting into a revised programme structure
- Internationally trained nurses awaiting UK registration
- Independent sector nurses supporting the NHS
- Returning midwives
- Physical skills for nurses and AHPs working in mental health, learning disability and autism
- Nurses deployed into a primary and community care setting
There has been an equally fantastic response to the call for volunteers to assist the NHS in anyway possible. If you know anyone who would like to assist and get involved, please direct them to the Good Sam App so that they may go via the correct channels as some roles may require a DBS check. Healthcare professionals can make referrals to the service via the NHS Volunteers Referrals Portal for extremely vulnerable patients they feel need support. Professional judgement should be used to determine if an individual would benefit from this support. Referrals should be made with the consent of the patient, using an nhs.net email address via the NHS Volunteer Responders referrers’ portal. Alternatively you can call 0808 196 3382 to make a referral.
Patients that are considered clinically extremely vulnerable can request support themselves via the government web portal or ring 0808 196 3646
There is further information in the NHS Volunteer Responders information for health professionals Version 1 (published 31 March 2020)
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) also have a very comprehensive webpage for community pharmacy volunteers guidance. This includes details on roles/tasks and the skills and the considerations required.
The Doctors Dispensing Association (DDA) also have some excellent resources including a home deliveries SOP. The DDA are funded wholly by subscription, therefore practices will need to join to be able to access their guidance, including all their SOP's.
DBS & Barred List Check Service
GOV.uk have a factsheet for safeguarding and DBS for community volunteers.
The Home Office have also put in place a fast track system during the Covid-19 crisis to facilitate a free of charge DBS and also a fast track Barred list check service for those assisting on the NHS volunteering scheme and those healthcare professional returning to the NHS.
CQC have also issued some Covid-19 interim guidance around DBS.
CQC state that they have issued this interim guidance in response to temporary changes being made by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to DBS applications and processes. It will be in operation for the period the Coronavirus Act 2020 remains in force and will be reviewed on a regular basis.
It is recommended that the whole guidance is read, however, CQC state the key points are as follows:-
- This guidance applies to individuals (paid staff and volunteers) being recruited as a consequence of and during the coronavirus pandemic, and where the following three things apply:
- providers need to start staff urgently
- waiting for a full DBS check could cause undue delay
- this delay could lead to risks to the continuity of service, impacting the safety and wellbeing of people using the service
- Providers are offered a fast, free Barred List DBS check for emergency roles being recruited in response to a provider risk assessment. Enhanced DBS check information will still be processed, but will be issued afterwards.
- The barred list check applies to staff working with children and adults.
- Providers should exercise diligence around all aspects of safe recruitment, including other recruitment checks they might carry out. Providers are responsible for risk assessing their situation and making decisions based on the needs of their service and people using that service during this emergency.
- If providers take reasonable steps to ensure new staff are recruited in line with new DBS guidance, staff are adequately supported and sufficiently supervised so that people are safe, we will not take a punitive approach. Providers should record the decisions they have made, and any risks identified along with the mitigations they will put in place. For example, providers might consider accepting a relevant DBS check from a previous employer provided it is less than three years old and for a similar role.
- We will take a pragmatic view on the portability of certificates for those being employed in emergency roles, recognising that some providers may have to consider this as part of their risk assessment.
- All other appointments and applications for DBS checks that are not linked to coronavirus must be processed according to existing DBS and CQC guidance
You can also access for DBS information on our webpage DBS: Who needs a DBS check?