VALE OF CLWYD MP Dr James Davies has spoken of the importance of keeping former clinicians returning to the NHS engaged, to ensure that their expertise can be of benefit beyond the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Davies, who, as a qualified NHS doctor for 16 years has himself returned to work in the NHS since the outbreak of the virus, has said it is crucial that all those who have offered their services during the crisis are kept involved going forward.

He raised the issue when taking part in a recent virtual meeting of the House of Commons Health and Care and Select Committee.

In the Oral Evidence session on ‘Delivering Core NHS and Care Services during this Pandemic and Beyond’, Dr Davies questioned the panel over the best way of ensuring these former clinicians are kept engaged in the months ahead.

Speaking after the meeting, he said: “We have seen many thousands of former clinicians offer to return to the NHS, which is absolutely fantastic.

“Some have already been helping out while others are ready and waiting if needed. Even before the pandemic, there were many unfilled clinician vacancies in North Wales. It is vital that we keep returners involved and ensure we utilise their skills where we can – now and in the future.

“As the panel highlighted in their responses, some returners have said they do not want to return to the frontline, so we need to ensure that there is a good range of alternative opportunities for them where their talents can be put to good use. It may be that they could go and support 111 or possibly the social care sector, which is particularly stretched at present.

“I wish to thank every single clinician who has returned to the NHS in these troubled times, or who has volunteered to do so. I know there have been many here in the Vale of Clwyd. Their willingness to support our hard working permanent doctors and nurses, who have been working flat out over the past few months, is very much appreciated by all.”