Ed Davey calls on Government to make it easier for retired health professionals to work

We’ve all seen some pretty scary things on social media and the news about the strain that some hospitals, particularly in the South East, are under.

In the past few days, I’ve seen accounts of a friend’s relative waiting hours for an emergency ambulance and then spending more than a day in A & E before a bed could be found in a ward.

Just on my social media, I am seeing several people each day testing positive. I’m aware of people having the virus, too, although, thankfully, nobody I know has been seriously ill with it. However, the so called “mild” version is extremely unpleasant.

With all this in mind, you can just imagine the stress that front line health workers must be facing. Exhausted already by the first wave and the race to catch up with the backlog of things that didn’t happen during it, the intensity of the second wave is at times overwhelming for them.

And that’s before any of them catch the virus and have to take time off themselves.

They need reinforcements, so it would help if retired health professionals could take some of the strain, even if it is covering things away from the front line.

But apparently the system makes it difficult for that to happen seamlessly.

Our Ed Davey has got himself into the Sun today, calling on Matt Hancock to sort this out. He said:

As you know, we are in the middle of one of the worst health crises this country has ever seen and our hospitals and urgent care centres are already overwhelmed.

Yet, retired medical staff are being prevented from returning to the frontline due to a mountain of unnecessary red tape.

Getting into the Sun is a big deal. Love it or hate it, and I certainly don’t love it, it is read by many people that the party needs to reach. They need to know that we exist and we are doing stuff to help them. So, well played to Ed and to the press office staff who were responsible for this.

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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21 Comments

  • Helen Dudden 2nd Jan '21 - 2:25pm

    So pleased, to see Ed Davey has taken the challenge to sort out this mess.
    It’s been as if the government has ignored the problems. I know someone who is waiting for a liver biopsy, so worried she has cancer.
    After Covid, there needs to be a total review of Health Services. I hope the Health Workers have support with the care of their children. It’s not a me first society.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 2nd Jan '21 - 2:28pm

    The article seems to be specifically about retired medical professionals returning to help administer the vaccine. It does seem a good idea to encourage medical professionals to return for this, although retired people may be at additional risk themselves, for reasons of age, so hopefully they would be vaccinated themselves first.
    I just wonder if the article exaggerates the amount of red tape involved in the application process. At one point it speaks scornfully of how it includes “courses on equality and diversity”, as well as fire safety. But it is important that anyone working in the health service should be aware of equality and diversity issues, and I assume the “course” would actually be very short. And it is usual for the induction of any new job to include something about fire safety. It seems irresponsible to imply that all this could just be cut. I don’t suppose that is really what Ed Davey means, but that is what the article implies

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 2nd Jan '21 - 2:34pm

    I should clarify that when I referred to “the article” in my last comment, I mean the article in The Sun, not Caron’s article!

  • Richard Underhil 2nd Jan '21 - 3:01pm

    Conservative politicians initially opposed the National Health service
    SHAME
    Bevan said
    “I stuffed their mouths full of gold.”

  • Richard Underhill. 2nd Jan '21 - 3:07pm

    Move to reduce the salary of the Health Secretary, and if necessary the Chancellor.
    Can a seconder be found?

  • I have read that retired medical people keen to volunteer their services have given up when confronted with the need for up to 21 different items of documentation including paperwork relating to Equality, Diversity and Human Rights, Fire Safety, Conflict Resolution, and Preventing Radicalisation.

  • John Marriott 2nd Jan '21 - 3:54pm

    Bureaucracy gone made, diversity training, lack of vaccine manufacturing capacity – the chickens are coming home to roost mightily!

  • neil sandison 2nd Jan '21 - 5:19pm

    Has anyone considered that former NHS workers now retired will lack the confidence to return to duties or no longer want to work excessive hours . Step up the pace of training the next generation , or those made redundant by the effects of COVID 19 .

  • Nigel Jones 2nd Jan '21 - 8:46pm

    I think this is the second time Ed has got into the Sun recently; that is good.

  • Where or when did SirEd call for this. Certainly not on tonights news.

  • @Peter,
    From a previous conversation with my brother – a retired medical professional, a big problem is that the NHS/gov doesn’t want to pay both his pension and the market rate for the job…

    @neil Sanderson
    “Has anyone considered that former NHS workers now retired will lack the confidence to return to duties or no longer want to work excessive hours .”
    Much depends on how long people have been retired and what duties they are being expected to perform. Managing people doing shorter hours shouldn’t be a problem, however, I suspect much of the experience of handling this is in retail not the NHS…

    Digressing of topic, but related, I’m surprised that schools are expecting teachers to perform the new CoVid tests and not furloughed parents. Just another example of the government not mobilising all those people it is paying through the furlough scheme – remember if you have been furloughed you aren’t supposed to be performing you normal day job and so are available for community service etc…

  • Roger Roberts 3rd Jan '21 - 8:16am

    This is the answer some months ago regarding availability of 500 medics waiting registration -The Government is working closely with the General Medical Council (GMC), which is responsible for registering medical practitioners in the United Kingdom.
    Requirements for registration are at a high standard to ensure that anyone joining the medical register has the necessary medical knowledge and skills to practise safely in the UK.
    The GMC has prioritised applications from people who are be able to provide the required evidence, which can be assessed more quickly.
    The GMC has also written to all final year medical students across the UK to invite them to apply for provisional registration. The GMC will follow its usual policies and procedures to ensure that students joining the medical register are fit to practise.

  • Roger Roberts 3rd Jan '21 - 8:21am

    This is the answer re 500 medics waiting registration some months ago.The Government is working closely with the General Medical Council (GMC), which is responsible for registering medical practitioners in the United Kingdom.
    Requirements for registration are at a high standard to ensure that anyone joining the medical register has the necessary medical knowledge and skills to practise safely in the UK.
    The GMC has prioritised applications from people who are be able to provide the required evidence, which can be assessed more quickly.
    The GMC has also written to all final year medical students across the UK to invite them to apply for provisional registration. The GMC will follow its usual policies and procedures to ensure that students joining the medical register are fit to practise.

  • Roger Roberts 3rd Jan '21 - 8:36am

    The Government is working closely with the General Medical Council (GMC), which is responsible for registering medical practitioners in the United Kingdom.
    Requirements for registration are at a high standard to ensure that anyone joining the medical register has the necessary medical knowledge and skills to practise safely in the UK.
    The GMC has prioritised applications from people who are be able to provide the required evidence, which can be assessed more quickly.
    The GMC has also written to all final year medical students across the UK to invite them to apply for provisional registration. The GMC will follow its usual policies and procedures to ensure that students joining the medical register are fit to practise.

  • Alex Macfie 3rd Jan '21 - 9:15am

    tim rogers: In The Sun. Do keep up.

  • James Fowler 3rd Jan '21 - 10:24am

    One of the hardest things for people to accept when facing a crisis is that many, perhaps most, of its unfolding components are ‘baked in’ – sometimes years previously. Crises are commonly portrayed in terms of technical failures or shortages of resources because these can be easily and reassuringly construed as ‘fixable’. In reality, ingrained patterns of behaviour and expectations also play a major role in events.

    Human society can’t just be switched on and off like a light as required. Inspired by this type of thinking, throughout this crisis we’ve been scrambling to solve it by a series of ‘quick fixes’ – many of which are themselves highly damaging. We must do our best by the sick, but the wider community can’t and shouldn’t be disposed of when it’s not convenient.

    At first this was justified on the grounds that it was temporary. It obviously isn’t. Consequently, we’ve made some major policy mistakes; (1) Believing that the short, sharp, shock of lockdown would be tough on the virus and tough on the causes of the virus and (2) Believing that tracking and tracing was accurate and somehow automatically ensured compliance with self isolation. Both ideas rest on the supposition that this will be ‘all over by Christmas’ and an essentially middle class perception of economic security and social networks. Unsurprisingly, both have unraveled.

    As with Drugs and Terror, the ‘war’ on the virus will never be won. We should to stop thinking in those self defeating terms where endlessly expecting ‘victory’ means that set backs inspire panic. Instead, there’s good news of a different sort. The vaccine is an astoundingly impressive achievement. The seasons turn towards summer. We can build long term NHS capacity. But there’s a caveat: The virus is here to stay. We should act accordingly.

  • We will still need to social distance and wear masks after having the vaccine. The bug will still be here. It will be some time before it is exterminated, if at all. Then probably another bug will come along and hey ho off we go again! Still lets look on the bright side. My big worry is that some of those who are now getting the vaccine think that’s it, we can immediately go back to normal, they can’t.

  • Richard Underhill. 3rd Jan '21 - 1:18pm

    All Ministers who have been personally affected should examine their consciences, tCovid these include the current Health Secretary and relatives of his.
    On the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 another ex-Covid sufferer Bosris Johnson MP, PM said that this is being done .
    We can welcome government U-turns, especially if they are prompt, & examine sincerity.

  • Ed was absolutely right in what he said.

    It is unbelievable if retired medics cannot return due to not having the right equality and diversity training. I feel that sums up a lot of what is wrong with the way things are run generally at the moment.

    It seems that NHS bosses happily call for tighter restrictions on the public but won’t consider relaxing their own bureaucracy. I find that unacceptable.

  • Peter Watson 3rd Jan '21 - 7:37pm

    Without some detail and something constructive to say, e.g. what are the 21 bits of red-tape and which does Ed Davey want to “slash” (I suspect that getting rid of diversity training and ‘health and safety gone mad’ might go down better with Sun readers than Lib Dems), then Davey’s comments are little more than a pointless whinge.

  • Peter Watson 3rd Jan '21 - 8:01pm

    I found this on the BBC website (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-55516277) for the checklist of things that applicants need to provide evidence of training (presumably either certificate from previous training or by following a new online course) in order to become an NHS vaccinator:

    Recognising and managing anaphylaxis
    Resuscitation, level 2
    Safeguarding adults, level 2
    Safeguarding children, level 2
    Vaccine administration
    Vaccine storage
    Health, Safety and Welfare, level 1
    Infection Prevention and control, level 2
    Introduction to Anaphylaxis
    Legal aspects of vaccination
    Moving and Handling, level 1
    Preventing radicalisation, level 1
    Conflict resolution, level 1
    Core knowledge for Covid-19 vaccinators
    Covid mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 (Pfizer BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine)
    Data security awareness, level 1
    Equality, Diversity and Human rights, level 1
    Fire safety, level 1

    This seems to be 18 things. I think the list of 21 in the Mail/Sun adds “Passport or proof of right to work”, “Highest education certificate” and “DBS Certificate”.

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