Generations of health workers unite in call to support NHS through coronavirus crisis in Sunderland and South Tyneside

The ranks of the NHS have been boosted by the next generation and those who have stepped up return from retirement to support the service through the coronavirus crisis.

Thursday, 16th April 2020, 11:29 am
Updated Thursday, 16th April 2020, 12:43 pm

As part of a national effort to increase staff numbers, South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust put out a call for support it through the emergency, asking those who retired during the last three years to come back to help.

So far, about 80 registered nurses, midwives, healthcare assistants, allied health professionals and dental staff have registered for shifts.

It has seen the trust work with NHS Professionals, which supports it to bring together a flexible workforce through a staff ‘bank’ while others have stepped forward through the NHS – Bring Back Staff campaign.

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South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust has welcomed back people from retirement as well as newcomers to the service as it increases staffing numbers during the coronavirus outbreak.

In addition, about 40 third-year nursing students from Northumbria University began work with the trust this week and University of Sunderland third-year nursing students are expected to provide further support for the team at the end of this month.

More than 30 fifth-year Newcastle University medical students also started working for it this week.

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Melanie Johnson, executive director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals, thanked everyone who has so far answered the call.

Melanie Johnson, executive director of nursing, midwifery and allied health professionals at South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

She said: “I have never been more proud of our NHS staff – past and present.

“Our current staff are all doing an amazing job working flexibly to provide essential patient care in these exceptionally challenging times and we are very pleased to welcome final year nursing and medical students to help us.

“We do not know how long this unprecedented situation is going to last so all additional offers of assistance from former staff are very much appreciated.

“We are, of course, providing refresher and new training, and equipment, where necessary.”

Former trust nursing staff considering returning to help trust can contact [email protected] to confirm experience, availability and any limitations to practice.

Nurses and midwives are already able to re-register via the NMC website for those returning to practice can visit

Allied health professionals can find information at

To find out from NHS Professionals how you can support the NHS in the fight against COVID-19 go to

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