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NHS chief praises thousands of vaccination staff staying in the health service

Updated: Apr 29, 2022

NHS chief executive, Amanda Pritchard, has today welcomed news that well over 11,000 (11,483) people who joined the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme have decided to stay on in the health service in other roles, in a huge boost to the workforce.

People up and down the country came forward to support the NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme, and with training and skills built up over the pandemic have now gone on to jobs supporting medical teams, boosting patient experience and even studying for clinical roles themselves.

The expanded workforce will help the NHS tackle the elective backlog as services bounce back across the country and help patients get the best care possible as quickly as possible.

Karen aged 57, a former dance teacher who was furloughed during the pandemic, now supports new mums and babies as a ward clerk in Bedford Hospital. Karen said after signing up to work in the vaccine programme she ‘enjoyed being part of something that made a real difference’.

Tamryn, 45, from Cambridgeshire spent more than a decade jetting across the world as cabin crew but after being furloughed felt it was time to start a new career.

Alongside signing up to support the vaccination programme, she decided to apply for a degree in therapeutic radiology and said that she valued that ‘by working for the NHS you can make a real difference to people’s lives every day’.

The NHS has put a huge focus on workforce retention ensuring that people who came forward to help with the largest vaccination programme in health service history are encouraged and supported to stay on in new roles.

Kazeem, who was previously a gym manager in London and is now an assistant service manager at one of England’s leading hospitals, Guy’s and St Thomas, says he loved meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds working in the health service alongside ‘being part of a team that was making history.’

Workforce retention teams have been on hand to show people who may not have had previous health or clinical experience the range of roles available, with vaccination staff going on to work across a whole host of areas – including on maternity wards or even starting to study for frontline roles.

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