4,000 Nurses And 500 Doctors To Come Out Of Retirement In 48 Hours To Battle Coronavirus

by : Lucy Connolly on :


The secretary of state for health and social care has praised 4,500 retired nurses and doctors who have signed up to help tackle the coronavirus pandemic in the UK.

Matt Hancock said he was ‘delighted’ that 4,000 nurses and 500 doctors had responded – over the past 48 hours – to the government’s call to get recently retired healthcare professionals to come back to work, helping the NHS in such a difficult time.


In a message posted to his official Twitter account, Hancock described their actions as providing ‘brilliant support in our national effort tackling coronavirus’.

Matt HancockPA Images

In a video posted alongside his tweet, the health secretary stressed that while this was a great start in fighting this ‘unprecedented crisis’, much more needed to be done.

He said:


But we need many more. It’s easy to do, and we will make sure that your service is put to best effect. The whole country needs the NHS right now and if you’re a retired doctor or a retired nurse then your NHS needs you.

As well as thanking those who were returning to the NHS from retirement, Hancock also praised the ‘heroic effort from all those working so hard in our national effort to tackle coronavirus’.

The health secretary’s announcement comes as it was revealed the NHS had struck a deal with private hospitals to acquire thousands of extra beds, ventilators and medical staff.


An extra 8,000 hospital beds across England, nearly 1,200 ventilators and almost 20,000 fully qualified staff will be available from next week to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.


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The additional staff includes 10,000 nurses, more than 700 doctors and more than 8,000 other clinical staff who will be helping to manage an expected surge in cases, NHS England said.

The agreement will see the private sector reallocate almost its entire national hospital capacity to the NHS, with the extra resources also helping the NHS deliver other urgent operations and cancer treatments.

extra nhs resources coronavirusPA Images

It comes as Boris Johnson warned the NHS could become ‘overwhelmed’ if people did not start putting the government’s social distancing advice into practice to slow the ‘accelerating’ spread of coronavirus this weekend, March 22.

In an earlier press conference addressing the nation, the prime minister also said cafes, pubs and restaurants must close from Friday night, March 20, while all clubs, theatres, cinemas and gyms must close ‘as soon as they reasonably can’.

Boris JohnsonPA Images

According to the latest figures from yesterday morning, March 21, there were 5,018 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the UK and 233 reported deaths.


Our thoughts are with all those affected by coronavirus and the families of those who have lost their lives.

It’s okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD’s aim with our coronavirus campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we’re facing. For more information from the World Health Organization on coronavirus, click here.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Health, Coronavirus, COVID-19, doctors, NHS, nurses, Twitter, UK


Matt Hancock/Twitter
  1. Matt Hancock/Twitter