Emergency legislation* has been passed by the UK Government, giving the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) powers to automatically register thousands of former paramedics, biomedical scientists, occupational therapists, radiographers, physiotherapists, operating department practitioners, clinical scientists and other professions essential to testing and treating coronavirus patients.
In preparation, HCPC has contacted professionals who left the HCPC register in the last three years to explain the temporary emergency registration process.
HCPC has also notified education providers that final year students who have successfully completed their final clinical placements will also be registered temporarily, further increasing the numbers available to work for the NHS.
As of 27 March 2019, a further 20,932 professionals are now eligible to support the NHS.
John Barwick, Chief Executive and Registrar at the HCPC says,
"As the COVID-19 virus spreads, many of the professions we regulate will be essential in helping fight this disease. The temporary COVID-19 registers will significantly boost the numbers of health and care professionals who are able to join the NHS at this time of national need.
We know these are challenging times. We would like to express our sincere appreciation to everyone who is able to support the response to the COVID-19 emergency."
For further information, the HCPC has created a COVID-19 web hub for professionals and students including FAQs.
*Article 9A of the Health Professions Order 2001 is set out in section 2 and Schedule 1 of the Coronavirus Act 2019-21. These powers enable the Registrar of the HCPC to temporarily register fit, proper and suitably experienced persons with regard to the COVID-19 emergency.