NHS staff to be given ‘Covid-19 passports’

NHS England has said that staff will be given ‘Covid-19 passports’ to help hospitals redeploy workers during a feared second wave of infection.

The digital passports, which are stored on workers’ phones, have proven successful in pilots across the country and are being rolled out to support the coronavirus response. The idea was initially trialled at five London hospitals during 2019.

Traditionally, nurses, doctors and other staff have been forced to have repeat employment checks and to attend lengthy two-day inductions despite remaining within the NHS. The passports will help redeploy staff quickly to where they are needed most, helping to ‘plug gaps in staffing’.

All hospitals in England have been told to sign up for the scheme which involves staff holding their information on their own mobile phone in a secure app. This will include a verified record of their identity, employment and clearance information.

NHS England said the passports would make it easier for community nurses to be quickly redeployed into hospitals or for senior doctors to be transferred to help in neighbouring organisations.

A spokesperson for NHS England said: “NHS staff have performed extraordinarily during the pandemic, giving care to more than 105,000 people, and helping them to respond even more rapidly, efficiently and effectively to events for the rest of the year is vital. The staff passport – being trialled successfully across the country – allows managers to plan for patient care, supports staff to take on new roles and develop their skills and is one of a number of simple but important measures the NHS is taking to support staff and improve patients’ treatment.”

Event Diary

Following the 2017 Naylor Report into NHS estates, it has been estimated that estate upkeep costs have reached approximately £10bn in annual funding for 2019/2020.

More recently, ERIC (Estates Returns Information Collection) data collection has contained some deeply alarming news about the condition of NHS buildings and equipment.