A possible shortage of nurses and midwives caused by another swine flu outbreak has prompted the Scottish government to offer to pay former nurses £100 to re-register.
The money would cover the £76 registration fee and £23 cost of a disclosure check as the health service increases critical-care capacity with 66 more ventilators.
The Nursing and Midwifery Council has already written to 9,500 former nurses whose registrations have lapsed in the last four years, urging them to renew them.
Says health secretary Nicola Sturgeon: “We are continuing to work closely with boards and other organisations to ensure Scotland is prepared for any NHS staffing implications as a result of the pandemic.
“The extra resource former nurses and midwives can provide if the pandemic worsens will be vital, and that is why we are offering to meet any costs that re-registering will incur.”
Labour health spokesman Dr Richard Simpson says a second wave of swine flu could see GPs dealing with more than 5,000 extra cases a week. He says that ministers must “step-up their preparations”.
Is £100 enough to entice ex-nurses back to the profession?