NHS Professionals Launches National Campaign: Stand Up, Step Forward, Save Lives


NHS Professionals (NHSP) has launched a national campaign to boost and support the wider NHS in attracting more healthcare professionals back into the service.

The organisation runs the largest staff bank within the NHS and is owned by the Department for Health and Social Care.

The campaign, Stand Up, Step Forward, Save Lives, aims to raise awareness of NHS Professionals’ COVID-19 Rapid Response service, launched last week to accelerate the bank registration process and move qualified nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals to the front line as quickly as possible.

NHS Professionals’ Chief Executive, Nicola McQueen, explains: “Stand Up, Step Forward, Save Lives is answering the clear call from the healthcare community keen to help on the frontline by providing a simple route to get there.’

Nicola McQueen,
Chief Executive Officer,
NHS Professionals

“NHS Professionals provides one of the fastest and most straightforward ways back into the service, if you’re a student nurse, retired healthcare professional or if you’re already in the system and would like to work additional shifts.”

“Our Rapid Response service has already attracted thousands of registrations of interest and applications. ‘

“I’m incredibly proud of our unbelievable team, who are working round the clock to get these fantastic, dedicated healthcare professionals back into action as quickly as possible.’

“I’d like to say thank you so much to everyone trying to register with our bank.’

“We are fully committed to ensuring that you are able to provide the patient care that you want to and at the location that suits you.”

Karen Stephens-Green is a retired nurse from Hatfield, Hertfordshire and has recently registered to the NHS Professionals bank and is now available to work at her local hospitals.

I retired from the NHS in October and said all my goodbyes. I really didn’t think I would be back so soon after 40 years working as a nurse.  We are all doing our part and even though I have a family, I think: what if it was my family member who needed a nurse – so it’s an easy choice to make. We have to be all in this together.”

Caroline Broad, a retired nurse from Deal, Kent has also registered with the bank and is now ready to start work in her local hospitals.

I can’t believe how quickly NHSP contacted me and confirmed that I am able to work. I am so happy that I am now on the system and ready. I retired three years ago and really wanted to come back and help.  I am a senior nurse willing to do anything.

NHSP welcomes professionals from any part of the healthcare system, whether NHS or private, recently retired or students. To join the NHSP bank, please visit our website nhsprofessionals.nhs.uk

An Interview From NHSP: Caroline

Caroline Broad

How long have you been nursing for? 

Caroline: I’ve been nursing for 44 years.  I decided I wanted to be a nurse when I was 4 years old. I trained at Barts in the days when we wore starched caps and aprons.

Although I’ve had quite a varied career, the main bulk has been in Theatres/ITU and the Prison Service.

Why did you decide to join NHSP via Rapid Response?

Caroline: I googled how to return to nursing, sent off an e-mail and was then advised that since I was still registered that I could join NHS Professionals via the Rapid Response link.

How did it make you feel being able to join our Rapid Response to help the NHS?

Caroline: I was really happy to be able to join your Rapid Response. It took a couple of attempts because my iPad is an old version and a bit overwhelmed at the moment. As soon as I used my lap top, the application process was very quick and easy.

Your response was amazing; considering the numbers that must be involved it was incredible that in about 24 hours I was good to go. It made me feel valued and wanted.

What does it mean to you to support the NHS and your local community?  

Caroline: I was really pleased to be able to offer my knowledge and skills. I was feeling frustrated and a bit guilty when I saw all the exhausted NHS staff on TV.

I just wanted to get back to support them, even if it was only making beds, emptying bed pans or making the overworked staff a cup of tea or coffee.

How do you feel about returning to nursing after retiring?

Caroline: I feel excited, but a bit apprehensive as well. I’ve been out of main stream nursing for so long, I haven’t worked on a ward regularly since I qualified.

I have always worked in specialist areas; however, I have the skills to help and support.

What do you enjoy most about nursing?

Caroline: I love the interaction with people. Knowing that I have made someone comfortable, eased their pain, made them smile is brilliant. This applies to patients and colleagues.

As a senior manager I worked mainly with the staff and it was my job to help and appreciate them. I find people fascinating, they are so different, their needs are so varied.

It is my job to treat people as individuals and identify their specific needs. I love nursing, I can’t imagine any other job that I would be as happy doing.

I am so fortunate. This crisis has given me the opportunity to return to a job that I’m very good at (that’s from my patients, not my over inflated ego!) and that I love.

Clearhead NHS

An Interview From NHSP: Karen

How long have you been nursing for? 

Karen: I’ve been nursing for 37 years.

Why did you decide to join NHSP via Rapid Response?

Karen: Keeping track with the daily challenges through social media, I felt I could not sit by and watch my colleagues struggling to cope with the magnitude of this pandemic. 

How did it make you feel being able to join our Rapid Response to help the NHS?

Karen: Nursing is a rewarding vocation and it pleases me I can continue to utilise my skills. 

What does it mean to you to support the NHS and your local community?  

Karen: I feel proud of being part of a workforce who are committed and unite in challenging times as we are currently. 

How do you feel about returning to nursing after retiring?

Karen: I retired at the end of October last year, so it had not been that long my skills and knowledge are still fresh in my mind I feel confident in returning to support my colleagues. 

What do you enjoy most about nursing?

Karen: Teamwork. We all strive for the same goal to care for our patients with compassion and dignity.

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