HEALTH Secretary Matt Hancock has revealed 4,500 retired healthcare workers have returned to work to help battle the coronavirus crisis.
Mr Hancock tweeted how he was “delighted” with the response but urged “many more” to sign up, adding: “Your NHS needs you.”
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It comes as the number of deaths from coronavirus in the UK rose to 233.
The most recent 53 deaths in England were people aged 41 to 94 who had underlying health conditions.
The Health Secretary tweeted: “Delighted that 4,000 nurses and 500 doctors have signed up to return to the NHS in the first 48 hours of our call.
“Brilliant support in our national effort tackling #coronavirus.”
In a video accompanying the post, he added: “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.”
Maria Caulfield, the MP for Lewes in East Sussex, will return to work as a nurse during the parliamentary recess for night shifts and at weekends.
She said: “I am very happy to use that time to help those who are ill.”
Rosena Allin-Khan, the MP for Tooting, a hospital doctor said that she would be returning to her hospital’s accident and emergency department this weekend.
Kieran Mullan, an emergency medicine doctor who was newly elected in Crewe & Nantwich in December, and James Davies, a GP who now represents Vale of Clwyd, also plan to return to clinical work.
DEAL WITH PRIVATE HOSPITALS
Last night, a deal was announced that will provide thousands more beds, ventilators and extra healthcare staff from next week to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.
The capacity-boosting agreement was struck between NHS England and independent hospitals, health bosses said.
The extra resources include nearly 20,000 staff, 8,000 hospital beds across England and nearly 1,200 more ventilators.
In London alone it includes over 2000 hospital beds, and over 250 operating theatres and critical beds.
The capital is a hotspot for coronavirus, with more deaths registered than in any other region.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens hailed the deal with the private sector, saying: “We’re dealing with an unprecedented global health threat and are taking immediate and exceptional action to gear up.
“The NHS is doing everything in its power to expand treatment capacity and is working with partners right across the country to do so.”
Mr Hancock said: “This is great news for the hospitals and staff doing everything they can to combat coronavirus.”
‘WAR LIKE’ HOSPITALS
We can also reveal that two London hospitals could be on the brink of moving out patients to other sites so they can focus solely on tending to those struck down by coronavirus.
One of the hospitals – the Whittington, in Archway, north London – was described as “war-like” this week by hard-pressed staff.
The other is said to be the Royal Brompton in Chelsea, west London.
Northwick Park Hospital in London this week declared a “critical incident” after being swamped by Covid-19 cases.
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Thousands of doctors have urged the PM to “protect the lives of the life-savers” by resolving the “unacceptable” shortage of personal protective equipment.
In an open letter, published in The Sunday Times, medics and other NHS staff told Mr Johnson to take “immediate” action to ensure they all have protective masks, glasses, gloves, aprons and suits.
Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt yesterday joined calls for the government to “sort this out.”