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Student doctors and nurses praised for joining ‘NHS Army’

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Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Thomas/REX (4719666p) NHS staff push a trolley through a hospital corridor NHS hospital, Britain - 23 Apr 2015

Nearly 15,000 student nurses, midwives and medical students are poised to join frontline NHS teams as part of the nationwide coronavirus fightback.

More than 12,000 second and final year nursing and midwifery students and 2,213 medical students have so far enrolled to provide care and support, with the first of these now beginning to take up roles on the front line.

England’s top nurse and doctor today commended students’ “life-saving” actions in joining a growing ‘NHS Army’, providing support to qualified and experienced experts on the frontline of care. The influx of students boosting the workforce follows a plea from senior nurses for medics-in-training to join the growing ranks of staff helping the public to stay well.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive, today met staff looking after coronavirus patients in the intensive care units and respiratory wards at Kings College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London.

He said: “Across the country nearly 15,000 student nurses and midwives and medical students are stepping up to serve in the fight against coronavirus.

“They will work alongside our brilliant current staff and the thousands of dedicated former colleagues who have answered the call to come out of retirement.

Also around 5,000 former staff are now back on the NHS front line after coming out of retirement to support the coronavirus effort. The returning doctors, nurses, midwives and other healthcare professionals in England are now helping to tackle the ‘unprecedented global health threat’.

The 4,800 will be boosted shortly with another 10,300 returners having completed pre-employment checks and ready for deployment.