A health chief today appealed for volunteers to come forward and help NHS Grampian during the coronavirus pandemic.
Amanda Croft, the chief executive of NHS Grampian, said lists are being compiled of willing volunteers who may be called upon if hospitals and health care centres experience staffing shortages.
It is understood hundreds of volunteers could be needed.
She said: “We’ve had a lot of people come forward to say they used to work for the NHS, or aren’t currently doing their normal job, and can they help.
“We’re collating a list of those people and we’ll be getting in touch to see what skills they have and what they can help us with.
“People need to remember that the NHS isn’t just about doctors and nurses as, with porters, domestics and administrators, we’ve got more than 250 types of staff.
“We’d be very grateful of anybody who can come forward and offer any help.”
Prof Croft said it is one of a number of avenues being considered to keep the health board fully operational amid the rising numbers of Covid-19 cases.
Earlier this week, the health board cut visiting hours to limit the spread of illness, and it restricted patients to receiving no more than two visitors at a time.
Many patients have also had procedures cancelled to free up capacity for more urgent cases.
The proposals to draft in volunteers are in the early stages and will be subject to national guidelines.
Prof Croft added: “We will do whatever it takes to allow these people to come and help us where we need it.
“We may have too many people initially, but as time goes on we may need them.
“We do business continuity planning very well so, in some ways, this is not a new situation.
“A key thing for us is that this may go on for a long time.
“We need to look after our staff and ourselves and make sure we’re resilient enough to see it through.”
Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart said: “Now is the time for anyone with previous NHS experience to come forward – we must do all we can.”