Cartoon image of NHS Reserve workers.

NHS Reservist Programme

Come and join our Community of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Reservists!

What is a Reservist?

The NHS Reserve is a team of widely trained, paid workers that can be called on by the NHS in times of need. There is a range of paid Reservists roles on offer, both clinical and non-clinical, that are matched to your experience and flexible to your availability with a time commitment that is planned and scheduled to suit you.

The Reserve has provided a springboard for many students starting out on their clinical careers, looking to increase their patient facing experience and those retirees who are looking to deploy many years of knowledge and experience on a less frequent basis and without the rigours of daily shifts. Workers at every stage in their life and careers find their way to us, with different skills and availability and they all find their niche.

Who can join?

We are looking for individuals who are over 18 years old, who would like to earn extra money and who are passionate about helping their local NHS in times of need. You may be an experienced clinician, a student or looking for administrative duties; our varied roles mean we have something for everyone!

Registration is a quick and easy process. We will be there support you every step of the way, through on-boarding to your first shift.


Listed below are some of our NHS Reservist employees. You can find out more about the role of a reservist from Lynda Barnes and Michelle Prothero:

Lynda Barnes

Lynda BarnesLynda Barnes – known to her friends as Binnie – has worked in a number of roles since qualifying as a nurse in the 1980s. She last worked for the NHS four years ago and now works part-time in further education, keeping up her registration hours through tutoring and assessing care apprentices at City College Peterborough. During the coronavirus pandemic, Binnie put her name down to support the NHS. She joined Norfolk and Waveney Health and Care Partnership’s Bring Back Staff project in October 2020, helping with their vaccination programme. Binnie said: “I liked the small commitment required – just a minimum 20 shifts per year contract, which would go a long way towards my NMC registration hours, and I could easily fit a couple of shifts a month around my college role. Of course, I can do more if there is a need and it fits around work and life for me.” After a few months of training and induction, mostly online, she joined vaccination teams at Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn and other West Norfolk Primary Care sites. She said: “There’s a real family feel in the team, and I have had all the training and support I need. Despite my career break, it all came back to me very quickly. It feels like we’re at the cutting edge, and it’s a real privilege to be involved. In just a five-minute interaction, you need to make every single person coming for vaccination feel special, informed and reassured. It’s exhausting, but fun!”

 “I can keep up my registration hours and it fits around work and life” 

Michelle Prothero

Michelle Prothero Retired nurse Michelle Prothero answered the rallying cry to join the growing numbers of NHS Reservists – former healthcare workers asked to return to help with general nursing duties or join vaccination programmes.

Michelle had originally signed up to help during the first wave of the pandemic, but was not needed. She was called this autumn and this time completed her training.

She was asked to join the Covid-19 vaccination centre at NNUH. We meet on her very first morning.

She said: “To be honest I was a little apprehensive, but eager to help wherever I could. The more people we have doing this the quicker people will receive their vaccination.

“My apprehension was for my husband, who has had serious treatment  I was worried about exposing him, but here in the suite we are away from the main hospital so I don’t feel that I am any more at risk here than I was working in a GP practice. I discussed it with him and he was fine with it. I take my uniform off as soon as I get in the door and wash it to make sure I am really safe.”

Michelle has been buddied up with Jane Bennett, a staff nurse in the Arthur South Day Procedure Unit.

She said: “It’s been great so far. The biggest thing has been getting to grips with the computer system.

“Other than that I am really pleased to be here.”

Where will I work?

You will have the option to work across both Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. This could include working in a range of Health and Care settings such as Primary, Community and Acute Care to meet demands.

Will I receive training before I am deployed?

Reservists will be required to complete an induction and e-learning. Depending on the role, you may be required to attend some face-to-face training to ensure clinical competencies are achieved.

Each new Reservist will be paired up with a buddy. Your buddy can help answer any questions you may have, whilst adding support, friendship and reassurance. We hope that with a buddy and reservist supprt, it will be less daunting for our reservists.


Listed below are some examples of how you could fit into the role of a reservist:

Young Person


Studying for A-levels with a desire to train as a paramedic.Teenage girl

Health and care experience 


Becoming a reservist works for me because...

...I want to be confident in my degree choice and I get to experience what working in the NHS is like alongside my studies.

What I love most about being a reservist is...

...getting to learn new skills that carry responsibility and earning a little money along the way.

Past NHS Employee


Working part-time in retail but still feels attached to the health sector. 

Health and care experience  Past NHS employee

Previously worked as a nurse but left for another opportunity. 

Becoming a reservist works for me because...

...I can get back into a clinical environment and maintain my skills while thinking about rejoining the NHS. 

What I love most about being a reservist is... 

...rebuilding my confidence in a supportive programme while working to re-register and maintain my registration.

Full-time Worker

Lifestyle Full-time worker

An Administrator who works at a bank and has two young children.

Health and care experience 


Becoming a reservist works for me because...

...I get the chance to do something completely different from my usual work and learn new skills.

What I love most about being a reservist is...

...being able to give back in a structured way - I can plan out my whole year of service days.

FAQs – Link to information

For information on the Frequently Asked Questions about the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Reservist Programme, visit the C&P FAQs Reservist Programme PDF document.


We are actively recruiting for NHS Reservists and would love to hear from you

We have a range of roles avaliable, please click on the roles below to complete an application:

Clinical/ Ward Runner

Clinical Professional (Registered)

Admin & Clerical


If you are a registered nurse or AHP working in the ICB, please complete our application for express onboarding.


For further information please email