Coronavirus: 4,500 retired doctors and nurses have signed up to return to the NHS
23 March 2020, 12:14 | Updated: 23 March 2020, 12:42
Around 500 doctors and 1,000 nurses have signed up to return to the National Health Service in 24 hours amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Around 4,500 retired healthcare workers have signed up to return to work to help the NHS battle the coronavirus crisis.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he is 'delighted' by the response, but has urged "many more" to sign up, adding: "Your NHS needs you."
He tweeted: "Delighted that 4,000 nurses and 500 doctors have signed up to return to the NHS in the first 48 hours of our call.
"Brilliant support in our national effort tackling #coronavirus."
He accompanied the post with a video, in which he said: "But we need many more. It's easy to do, and we will make sure that your service is put to best effect.
"The whole country needs the NHS right now and if you're a retired doctor or a retired nurse then your NHS needs you."
This weekend, a deal was made between NHS England and private hospitals that that would provide an extra 20,000 staff, 8,000 hospital beds across England and around 1,200 more ventilators.
NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens said of the deal: "We're dealing with an unprecedented global health threat and are taking immediate and exceptional action to gear up.
"The NHS is doing everything in its power to expand treatment capacity and is working with partners right across the country to do so."
And Matt Hancock added: "This is great news for the hospitals and staff doing everything they can to combat coronavirus."