Retired Nurses & Allied Health Professionals: Why the UK needs your help more than ever before

18 May 2022  •  NHS
Retired Nurses & Allied Health Professionals: Why the UK needs your help more than ever before

It's no secret that the past two years have been difficult for everyone across every sector of the country. As the Covid-19 pandemic goes on, no sector has suffered more than healthcare.

With the pandemic causing an unexpected need for more healthcare professionals than ever before, many essential services have been pushed to the bottom of the pile in order to combat the pervasive threat sweeping the UK.

Now that the pandemic is being tackled full force with vaccines and improved understanding, it might be easy to imagine that the healthcare sector is in recovery. However, nothing could be further from the truth - and if you are a retired nurse or allied health professional, you are more needed now than ever before.

The current state of the healthcare backlog

The healthcare backlog has reached a concerning level in recent months. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic made things even more difficult, the demand for specialist treatment, surgery, and hospital appointments was higher than the healthcare sector could keep up with.

Combined with the ongoing worldwide public health crisis, as it stands it will take years to clear the backlog, especially as many healthcare professionals retire each year, taking with them their experience and skills. Not only that, but healthcare workers who would usually be working in a specific field have often given their time and skills to busy Covid-19 wards, slowing down their own waiting lists.

Needless to say, increasing patient waiting times can also increase the severity of their health issues in some cases, leading to the need for further treatment, and causing even more demand that cannot be met with current resources.

What is counted in the backlog?

The backlog covers many different areas, but reasons for something to be counted as “backlogged” includes patients who may have had referrals or procedures delayed or cancelled, and those whose referrals have been refused because of a cited lack of capacity. Those who have not yet approached a GP for further treatment or referrals due to not wanting to burden the healthcare service are also considered to be part of the backlog, as are those who are concerned about contracting Covid-19 and are avoiding hospital environments.

Patients who are still on a waiting list who would usually have already been seen are also part of the backlog.

Areas that have been most impacted

There is not a single area of healthcare that hasn’t been harmed by the backlog, but some areas have felt this more than others. Cancer services such as oncology and allied health services are currently beyond capacity, delaying essential appointments and treatments that could save lives, or improve the quality of life for patients. Imaging is overwhelmed with demand, as are other areas such as speech therapy and audiology.

Nursing is also maxed out, with nurses struggling to provide safe, high-quality healthcare while thousands of positions remain empty across the board. Nurses who are currently working have been strongly encouraged to increase their hours, but this can only work to a certain extent - more skilled professionals are needed so that everyone can provide the best level of care.

Calling retired healthcare professionals

With current health service staff overstretched, the best way to recover and reduce the backlog in less time is for retired practitioners to return to their field. There has been a call from top NHS bosses asking retired healthcare professionals to offer their services once more on a locum basis, working as little as one day per week to combat this issue.

What can you do?

Many healthcare jobs are open at the moment, with vacancies in all areas. As a retired healthcare professional, you can access opportunities that are part-time, with even a single day a week being massively beneficial.

Share your knowledge by training students or, if you are concerned about seeing a large volume of patients, you can carry out virtual consultations. Even helping with follow-up check-ups will help the stretched healthcare sector to recover. If you have previously worked in any of the heavily impacted areas, such as oncology, nursing or speech therapy, then these services are especially needed...but everyone has a part to play.

Or do you know a friend or colleague who might be interested? We understand that good people know good people (and who doesn’t like being rewarded for knowing good people?). ‪For every referral you share with us, on top of the lucrative fee you will earn a minimum of £250 per candidate referred to us who is placed in a role, we will also grow a tree on your behalf.

Check your registration

If you want to take advantage of the healthcare jobs on offer right now and beat the backlog, you can share your skills and cut down on waiting lists. Just make sure that your registration is current, or update it, and you will be able to get to work making a real difference. Doctors need a valid licence to practice, with some choosing to revalidate annually as standard. If you have not done this, you will need to complete this process before working.

The benefits of going locum

While allied health professionals may be reluctant to give up retirement for the hard work of driving down the healthcare backlog, there are so many great benefits of choosing to work on a locum basis.

Consultant hours may be uncapped to make extra shifts a possibility, with increased availability for shifts. You may even be part of innovative new ways of doing things, such as performing more simple procedures in areas of the hospital other than the operating theatre - keeping your fingers on the pulse and enjoying the satisfaction of helping.

You will, of course, be able to work more flexibly than you have been used to (if you choose to), which can fit more comfortably with your current lifestyle.

Do you want to help beat the backlog?

Without the help of retired healthcare professionals at all levels, beating the backlog and bringing UK healthcare back to the world-class service it has been is going to be nearly impossible. As it is, the amount of time it will take to clear the backlog will put many patients at higher risk of serious health problems.

To avoid further health crises caused by the backlog, you can truly help more than anything. All you need to do is register with Globe Locums to see what flexible locum jobs and opportunities can be available to you. Together, we can beat the backlog.

Related Articles

Beat The Backlog
Locums Urgently Needed!