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Hundreds to be welcomed back to Wales’ health and social care workforce

Croesawu cannoedd yn ôl i weithlu iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol Cymru

The Health Minister Vaughan Gething has confirmed that hundreds of health and social care professionals will soon return to their previous careers to help tackle Covid-19.

Last week, those who‘d left health and social care jobs within the last 3 years were asked to join a temporary register to fulfil a range of clinical and non-clinical roles across the sectors.

Those contacted as part of the emergency recruitment drive include retirees and others who’d left their sectors to pursue different work.

Around 5,000 letters were issued across a number of sectors and the Welsh Government is also exploring how best to harness the skills of students who are keen to contribute.

Up to 3,760 students from across Wales (medical, nursing, midwifery, AHP, paramedic and healthcare scientists) could also be available to work, on an opt-in basis, and their roles will depend on what stage they’re at with their training.

Numbers are recorded differently across regulatory bodies however it has been confirmed 416 nurses and midwives have opted-in over the first week. More than 20% of allied health care professionals and scientists have also registered their interest.

Almost 700 doctors have automatically been re-registered by the GMC in Wales and 348 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have been included on the temporary register and are yet to opt-out. Social Care Wales also issued 850 letters to former registrants.

The Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething, said:

“Seeing the high numbers of those willing to come back to their previous professions, when our country’s health and social care services are most in need, is truly heartening. It’s a fantastic show of resilience and dedication by so many in such unprecedented times.

“It’s also a great example of collaborative working across these sectors and I’d like to thank everyone involved in making this happen.”

The Welsh Government’s Director of Social Services and Integration, Albert Heaney said:

“I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to our superb social care workforce; to our carers, social workers, nurses, occupational therapists, managers, support staff, students and volunteers.

“To everyone who already has or is preparing to express their interest in returning to social care: I thank you for answering this call in our time of national need. This additional capacity will be of great benefit to our fantastic existing dedicated workforce, and ultimately to the people they provide care and support to.”

The Chief Nursing Officer for Wales, Jean White, said:

“Thank you to everyone who volunteered to come back to the Nursing and Midwifery Council register during our country’s hour of need. You have selflessly decided to help us during this Covid-19 pandemic and for that I am truly humbled and grateful.

“Each and every person within our workforce is making a tremendous contribution to the health, social care and well-being of our population.”

Notes to editors

Further information for the professional groups will be made available here -


NMC have used an opt-in system. GPC, GMC and HCPC have used an opt-out system but regulators are referring retired returners to an NHSE survey to provide information such as previous role on retirement and where they are able to work going forwards. These are the numbers of staff who have completed the NHSE online survey indication that they would like to return to NHS Wales.

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) - 416 nurses and midwives have opted-in via NMC.

General Pharmaceutical Council (GPC) – 348 pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have been automatically reregistered (with those who’ve already opted-out removed). 16 pharmacists and 10 pharmacy technicians have opted-in (NHSE survey).

General Medical Council (GMC) - 670 doctors were automatically reregistered and 272 have opted-in (NHSE survey).

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) - 935 Allied Health Professionals and healthcare scientists were automatically registered and 194 have opted-in (NHSE survey).