Returning to practice

Your role will be very much dependent upon your expertise and skills, what you feel comfortable doing and the need within your local area.

There are a range of different roles that you might want to consider. These include (but are not limited to): supporting clinical teams in patient facing services, working on wards or in care homes or general practice, helping with outpatient clinics, providing education or training to other clinicians, working in NHS111 COVID-19 assessment services, and providing routine clinical cover.

In these challenging circumstances it is recognised that, as clinicians, you may be asked to work outside your normal field of practice. The nursing profession regulators have published a joint statement to explain this and to support you.

When you have completed the NHS England return to work survey indicating your wish to return to practice, you will be contacted to confirm where and when you would like to work. At this point a bespoke package of support will be agreed to enable you to return to work safely. This will include:

  • DBS and identity checks which will be undertaken remotely and quickly;
  • A fast track induction including all key mandatory training requirements to ensure you are supported to practice safely;
  • More specific guidance, for example, on the scope of your practice, management of coronavirus and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

No, this is a temporary post so neither are required. It is, however, good practice to have regular meetings with your designated line manager to ensure you are receiving adequate support in your new roles.

Please be assured your expertise and experience are valued beyond measure in these challenging times and your specific situation will be taken into consideration when you apply to return. There are a variety of roles available and as a former registered nurse or midwife the experience you bring is unparalleled and extremely welcomed. We need the very best people on board to help with our COVID-19 response.

From the point of completing the return to work survey to starting in your new role, we anticipate the process should take no more than one week. This may, however, differ dependent upon the particular role you have been matched with or your individual circumstances. You should always be kept updated as to where you are in this process.

When you return you will be offered a comprehensive induction process and education and training suited to the role you have chosen to ensure that you are supported to do that role safely. This will include a variety of areas from infection control training, PPE, safeguarding training and other training as required on a case-by-case basis. Should you have any specific needs, please discuss these with those matching you to a role or the organisation you are matched with so we can put this in place early.

We are facing the greatest global health threat in the history of our healthcare system and we need as many experienced, skilled nurses and midwives as possible to come back and help those already fighting COVID-19. We are delighted to see so many nurses and midwives returning to support their communities by re-joining the NMC temporary register but we need more. Wherever you can help we would be extremely grateful.

Yes, all relevant checks will still apply; these include HR processes such as DBS, and identity and occupational health checks. However, these will be fast tracked to ensure they do not delay your return.

Please be assured that the NMC will not contact anyone who was removed from the register for any misdemeanours and these individuals will not be allowed to join the temporary register. As standard employment checks continue to apply, anyone applying returning to practice on the temporary register will continue to have HR checks and balances completed to ensure safety of those they care for.

Yes, there are a range of opportunities for non-patient facing roles such as supporting clinical services, co-ordination roles, staffing telephone triage lines or working with NHS111 COVID-19 assessment services where your skills and experiences match these roles.

Yes, you will receive a fast track induction that will cover key mandatory training requirements, as well as more specific guidance, for example, on the management of coronavirus and use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This induction will cover all aspects of mandatory training as well as be tailored to your specific needs and the role you decide to return to.

As far as possible, we aim to match individuals to areas they are familiar with to make the most of their skills and expertise. In some situations, you may be offered an option of working somewhere else according to service requirements. Where this is necessary, this will be discussed with you and you will be supported adequately to take on these roles. Training and supervision will be given to ensure you are supported to practise safely.

There are a range of roles that we would welcome your skills, expertise and leadership in. If you have a joint contract between clinical and educational/research roles, we suggest in the first instance speaking with your organisation to discuss in what capacity you can be released to provide additional support. Once agreed we will gladly support you through the temporary registration process as a returner. Where however you are currently registered with the NMC please contact us directly at nhsi.nursing.returners@nhs.net or nhsi.midwives.returners@nhs.net so we can explore other options for you.

We’d recommend you discuss with your employers under what circumstances you should temporarily suspend your external commitments in order to provide more clinical support in your employing organisation. The balance between supporting point of care services directly and delivering the business as usual work should be carefully considered on a case-by-case basis.

At this point your contract will come to an end and you will be removed from the register. To continue to practise as a registered nurse or midwife you would need to re-join the register permanently. The NMC will be able to help you if you wish to do this.

You are free to change your mind at any time. If you change your mind and do not want to work anymore, you should highlight this to your direct line manager and arrange for steps to taken for you to leave work safely and as appropriate. If you wish to opt out of the temporary register at any point please visit the NMC’s website and complete the opt-out form.

There are a number of options for you to offer your support depending upon where you would like to work and your individual needs and expertise. We have listed a few here for you to consider:

  • Contact us directly if you would like to access options outside of hospital services, in speciality areas, or to discuss redeployment options.
  • NHS Professionals COVID-19 Rapid Response service which is offering bank services to variety of NHS trusts across England.
  • Nightingale Hospital roles – find out more here.

Thank you to you and your organisation for offering to support the efforts to fight COVID-19. In these situations please contact us directly so we can explore these with you on an individual basis and help match you to a role within your local area directly.