Call to retired medics

It was mooted some time ago and now there’s confirmation: retired doctors and nurses will be asked to return to the NHS to help the service cope with the coronavirus outbreak. “Lend us your expertise… you can help to save lives,” is the pitch from Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England. The Nursing and Midwifery Council is writing to 50,000 nurses across the UK whose registration lapsed in the last three years, while the General Medical Council will contact 15,500 recently retired doctors. It comes as the government reveals which key workers will be allowed to send their children to school, after the education system closes today.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock says protective personal equipment is being rushed to frontline NHS staff and social care providers, following concern workers were being put at risk by shortages. He’s also pledged to ensure all hospitals have enough ventilators, revealing 1,400 companies – including Formula 1 racing teams – have pledged to switch operations to supply them.

Jobs and unity

After talks with unions and business groups, the chancellor is set to announce an employment and wage subsidy package to try to protect millions of jobs. It comes as the Queen urges unity in a message to the nation. “At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal,” her statement says.

Wondering how long this effort might have to last? While the prime minister suggests the UK might “turn the tide” on the virus within 12 weeks, our health correspondent James Gallagher finds no clear answer – or definite exit strategy – from the science community.

Source: BBC News

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