There are around 40,000 registered nurse vacancies across the NHS in England alone.
The Health Secretary is calling on retired former NHS workers to return to help on the frontline as the NHS prepares for the worst winter on record.
A new army-style NHS reserves system is being launched by the Government in a bid to try and tackle the ongoing staffing shortages the health service is currently facing.
Currently, there are around 40,000 registered nurse vacancies across the NHS in England alone.
In a statement on Twitter, Mr. Javid announced the plans; “Our new NHS Reserves programme is being rolled out across the country.
“Local hospitals will be able to mobilise a broad range of fully trained staff, from retired doctors to IT experts, giving the NHS additional capacity when it needs it most.”
Response to the new programme on social media has been sour with many nurses claiming they left the profession due to poor working conditions and pay.
Some branded putting those most vulnerable to the virus at further risk by returning back to the frontline as a questionable and irresponsible choice.
A sour response.
Commenting previously on the staffing issues facing the NHS, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) Director for England, Patricia Marquis, said: “Pressures on existing staff are not sustainable and patient care is at risk. In the face of this, opportunities to take responsibility for workforce planning continue to be spurned.
“Government must now show it is committed to building a sustainable domestic nursing workforce and retaining the experienced nurses.
Nurses United UK have condemned the new plans calling them a “gimmick”.
Anthony Johnson, Lead Organiser for the group, added; “At a time when we can’t recruit the staff we need or fill those gaps with bank staff, the plan from this Government is to introduce a branded version of what already is possible?
“What stops retired staff working on bank? Nothing, they do it all the time in nursing.
“As ever, what we’re seeing is a gimmicky rehash that fails to understand our NHS isn’t attractive for nurses like myself and thousands of others.
“Perhaps a better answer is to sort out our pay, commit to keep us safe both physically and mentally, and remove the devastating privatisation which impacts the care we can give.”