Emergency law will allow retired nurses to be re-drafted

It also includes plans for a state-backed insurance scheme and plans to reduce paperwork.

Laura Townsend
18 March 2020
Intensive Care Units

The measures will only be used when strictly necessary.

An emergency law will soon be passed allowing recently retired nurses to return to work in a bid to tackle Coronavirus.


The Government says the measures in the coronavirus bill, which is expected to pass into law later this week, are “temporary, proportionate to the threat and will only be used when strictly necessary”.

To ensure the NHS and adult social care have the additional staff capacity they need to respond to increasing demands on services during the outbreak, the powers enabled by the bill will allow recently retired NHS staff and social workers to return to work without any negative repercussions to their pensions.

NHS staff will also be covered by a state-backed insurance scheme to ensure they can care for patients if, for example, they are moving outside their day-to-day duties while making use of their skills and training.

Paperwork and administrative tasks will also be reduced.


Doing everything we can.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We are doing everything we can to protect lives and support the NHS, guided by the best scientists and clinicians in the world.

“The new measures we will be introducing in the Emergency Coronavirus Bill this week will only be used when it is absolutely necessary and must be timed to maximise their effectiveness, but crucially they give the government the powers it needs to protect lives.

“By planning for the worst and working for the best we will get through this, but this is a national effort and we must all work together ‒ from businesses prioritising the welfare of their employees, to people thoroughly washing their hands.

“I also want to pay tribute to our brilliantly selfless NHS and social care staff who are working tirelessly to care for our friends and loved ones in this unprecedented period.


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