NHS and social care launches recruitment drive for 500 “reservists”

The NHS and social care in Derby and Derbyshire has launched a drive to recruit 500 “reservists” – and potential candidates are being urged to visit a jobs fair on Wednesday 20 September.

Reservists are a bit like freelancers – they work shifts flexibly in a variety of care locations.

They might work in a hospital, in a residential care home or as a vaccinator.

Reservists are recruited and then choose the shifts they want to do, using an app.

The reservist recruitment team will be at the health and social care jobs fair being held at the Council House in Derby city centre from 10am to 1pm on Wednesday 20 September.

In Derby and Derbyshire – unlike most of the rest of England – the roles are very flexible so reservists can choose shifts anywhere and with any employer, whether it’s in the NHS, social care, primary care or a charity organisation.

Darren Tidmarsh is chief people officer and deputy chief executive of Derbyshire Community Health Services Foundation Trust, and a senior workforce lead for the Derby and Derbyshire integrated care system.

He said: “Being a health and social care reservist is a great way to earn some extra money, to gain the extra experience that will help to get you a new or better job and to help our local community.

“Reservists help the NHS and social care at busy times, so we’re recruiting now in readiness for winter when we know more people become ill.

“Reservists help to care for people in hospital and when they leave to go home, or to be supported to get better in supported housing, or a residential home.

“We are very flexible about the experience and skills you’ll need and there are many different roles for people who already work in health and care, who are in college, or who have retired.

“Please come along to chat to our team if you can, or take a look at our website and fill in our simple form to express an interest. We’ll get right back to you.”

Dementia nurse Becky Haslam found that working additional shifts as a reservist at a council care home and as a vaccinator fitted in with her other commitments.

She said: “It suits my work and personal life. I run a business at home with my husband and we have two young children, so having shift work that fits around our other work is really helpful.

“I use an app, in the same way that I do with my bank shifts, see what’s available and then put myself down for the shifts I want to do.

“I’ve done shifts as a reservist in a ‘step down’ home where people go when they are well enough to leave hospital, but not well enough to go back to their own home.

“I have the clinical skills to support the residents with their mental and physical health needs, while the social care staff meet their other needs.

“It’s been really interesting working alongside social care staff as a nurse. We both learn from each other and we work together as one team.”

There are four roles available for reservists:

  • Essential Assistant
  • Clinical Assistant
  • Registered Healthcare Professional
  • Registered Vaccinator

The Essential Assistant role does not require any experience and the Clinical Assistant role requires six months’ care experience. These roles are suitable for students who want to work in health and care, or for people looking for a job, or a change of jobs.

The Registered Healthcare Professional and Registered Vaccinator require professional healthcare qualifications and are suitable for people who already work in health and care, or who have retired from health and care roles.

All roles are paid an hourly rate, with enhancements for unsocial hours and weekends.

Recruitment of reservists was a key element of the NHS England workforce plan, published in June.

To find out more about the roles please visit the reservists page of the Joined Up Careers website.

To attend the jobs fair on Wednesday 20 September and find out book your place via the EventBrite website.