COVID-19: Supporting the NHS

Around a quarter of the UK profession has stepped up to the call to support our NHS colleagues during this time.  In the UK, it is great to hear that the NHS has built the capacity to manage the current surge in cases, and indeed beginning to reopen some of its services. The extensive reserve workforce that was recruited has not had to be mobilised to the extent anticipated – and let us hope that this situation continues to improve.

As we move forward over the comings weeks and months, there may be other opportunities to support our NHS colleagues and we will keep you updated should these emerge.


Can you offer your skills in the PHE Contact Tracing Service Programme?

NHS Professionals has approached us to encourage osteopaths to apply to be part of the national Test, Track, Trace & Certify programme (TTTC). They need to recruit around 3000 registered practitioners by mid-May to undertake telephone public health assessment interviews with people who have tested positive for Covid-19.  Read their message below. You can also apply directly through NHS jobs here.

“At this critical time for the NHS, we know colleagues are keen to contribute in as many ways as possible to help the fight against Coronavirus. As such, in partnership with Public Health England and NHS Professionals, we now have an exciting new, home-based opportunity for currently registered practitioners to work as a Clinical Contact Caseworker.

The role involves conducting public health assessment interviews with people who have tested positive for COVID-19.  The work will particularly suit healthcare professionals who want to support the national effort but are not in a position, to take up a hospital-based role.

The phone interviews with patients will be protocol-based, but a degree of professional judgement is required. The role is aimed at those who have held a Band 6 or above position and appropriate training will be provided.

This initiative is supported by Department of Health & Social Care , NHS England & NHS Improvement and the Cabinet Office. To find out more and be considered for this opportunity, please click on this link through to the NHS Professionals website.”

Published: 7 May, 2020


VIDEO: First Contact Practitioner Service during COVID-19

Discover how existing NHS osteopaths – Tim Allardyce and Jonathan Grice – are working during the COVID-19 crisis in the UK:


I’d like to offer assistance to my local GP practice. What can I do?

A number of colleagues have notified the iO that they are considering offering support to their local GP surgeries. As you will appreciate, GPs are incredibly busy at present with the COVID-19 crisis and are under a lot of pressure.

Because of this, some GP surgeries may not be as responsive as they are, prioritising only essential care which – for the most part – does not include MSK care.

A first step would be to call your practice to see if they are still open and ask to speak to the practice manager about offering remote support. If they do want to know more about osteopathic training, it’s important to note to them that osteopaths are regulated by law, and in England we are considered to be Allied Health Professionals. More information on this as well as safety, effectiveness and patient experience of osteopathic care can be found in the iO’s Quality in Osteopathic Practice report.

There are also other ways to support your local NHS service, and these are outlined below, including how to apply to become an NHS111 calls handler.

Updated: 22 April 2020


How can I offer my services to work in the NHS?

We have been engaging with Chief Allied Health Professions Officers, Health Education England and others since the start of the Coronavirus preparations to consider how osteopaths can support our NHS services and contribute to the national crisis management plan.

Up until this point, the NHS has been prioritising and mobilising pre-existing NHS staff and registered AHPs who have recently left the NHS to return on a temporary basis.

However, they are also looking for clinicians with transferable skills to support wherever its needed, i.e. logistics, training, bedside buddies etc. The intention is that these are paid roles allocated as mid-point Band 5 where possible (approx. £27,000). They are not looking to fill MSK roles during this period.

Routes to support

  • If you have previously worked in the NHS and would like to re-join to help during COVID-19, click here.

If you have never worked in the NHS, you will soon be able to contact your local NHS provider or hospital directly and ask to join their Locum Bank staff.

  • We are working with Health Education England to include non-HCPC registered clinicians on this database over the next few days.
  • You can search for roles in the NHS, including posts relating to COVID-19 on the NHS jobs website or alternatively you may consider becoming a NHS 111 calls handler.
  • You can also apply to volunteer your time for free.

We will continue our discussions with NHS England, Health Education England and Public Health England to determine whether osteopaths may be able to contribute in other ways.

Updated: 27 March 2020


Do I need GOsC registration to work in the NHS or provide telephone advice?

Yes. To continue to operate as an osteopath and healthcare professional you will need to maintain your GOsC registration.

Updated: 24 March 2020



If you choose to stay open, you should only be conducting remote consultations during the lockdown period unless for urgent and emergency cases – see the iO’s COVID-19 FAQ’s and guidance on these exceptional circumstances.

You should not under any circumstances be in contact with anyone from high-risk groups or self-isolating due to symptoms of COVID-19. 


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