Jump in NHS job applications as public back coronavirus battle

Applications to work in the NHS have jumped as the nation has backed nurses, doctors and countless other health workers battling coronavirus.

Millions have shown their support for NHS staff and other key workers by taking to the streets for the weekly ‘clap for carers’.

That support has also translated into a rise in people wanting to work in the health service with 407,000 applications submitted last month.

That was an increase of 13,500 on the same month last year.

There were 27,700 jobs advertised in March.

Prerana Issar, Chief People Officer for the NHS said: “The huge support NHS staff have received from the public has been a massive boost as they tackle the greatest global health challenge in the health service’s history.

“We have had tens of thousands of former nurses, doctors and other staff coming out of retirement and a new generation starting their careers early to join the battle against coronavirus.

“Now it is clear that many more want to play their part by joining the largest health and care team in the world.

“From applauding carers to joining the NHS here are lots of ways that people can contribute to what is rightly a national effort and the best way that people can help is to follow the expert advice and stay home to slow the spread of the virus and save lives.”

The jump in applications has been revealed after NHS chief Sir Simon Stevens stressed that urgent and emergency care and cancer treatment has continued and urged anyone who needs help to come forward.

Sir Simon also said that the NHS wanted to restart other urgent and important services – that had to be paused while the health service geared up for the surge in coronavirus patients – when coronavirus allows.

People are queuing up to play their part in caring for patients with and without coronavirus.

Between March 9 and April 8, there were 907,000 visits to the NHS jobs website compared to 620,000 in the same period last year, while the number of people registering an account on the website has increased by more than one third over the last month, from 61,000 to 82,000.

NHS jobs incudes a range of roles people can apply for from frontline medical roles to jobs such as porters and kitchen staff.

More than 25,000 recently retired doctors and nurses have volunteered to return to the NHS through an online survey on the NHS website. The returning staff are then being put in touch with their local NHS services where a role based on their clinical skills and work history are found.

And the NHS has recruited more than 600,000 volunteers to help deliver medicines from pharmacies, drive patients to appointments, bring patients home from hospital and making regular phone calls to check on people isolating at home.