The Scottish Government will pay the re-registration costs of nurses and midwives returning to work to help in the event of a surge in H1N1 cases.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has contacted nearly 9,500 former members whose registration has lapsed in the previous four years to encourage them to re-register.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon said that Scotland is prepared for any NHS staffing implications as a result of the pandemic.

“The extra resources 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,” Sturgeon said.

The government has already invested £1.4m ($2.2m) in purchasing 40 extra adult ventilators and 15 extra paediatric ventilators to enhance the country’s critical care capacity.