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Practice nurses could be asked to carry out ‘hospital’ tasks

Practice nurses may be asked to assist hospital staff in administering injections and medication during the coronavirus outbreak, the Department of Health and Social Care has said. 

The Government yesterday passed its emergency coronavirus bill through the House of Commons. Temporary measures include providing indemnity for health professionals carrying out activities outside their normal jobs as part of the Covid-19 response.  

In its impact assessment of the bill, the Government wrote: ‘Medical practitioners and other healthcare workers from a range of disciplines and settings are likely to be required to help deal with a coronavirus outbreak.  

‘For example, dentists and GP practice nurses may be asked to assist staff in NHS hospitals in administering injections and medication that would normally only be administered by hospital medics,’ it continued. 

It added that there may be changes to the ‘normal, routine practices of healthcare professionals...to enable effective healthcare to be administered across the wider sector’ during the outbreak.  

The bill also contained assurance that ‘sufficient indemnity arrangements are in place to cover all NHS activities required to respond to the outbreak’. 

In addition, the document highlighted that an extra 60,000 workers could potentially be available by re-registering nurses, midwives and nursing associates who have left the register in the last three years.  

Up to 30,600 additional workers could also be provided if all final year nursing, midwifery and paramedic students are willing to join the register early, it is estimated.   

Last week, the Nursing and Midwifery Council announced that it would enable retired and student nurses to work to help fight coronavirus following the release of the emergency bill.  

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