NHS Managers given guide to hiring in attempt to reduce recruitment costs

The guide, which has been titled ‘\”Flexible workforce: strategic planning to reduce costs and improve quality\” helps NHS managers to ‘make the most efficient use of temporary staff, reduce agency costs and ensure that there is a supply of staff with flexible skills available to provide the highest levels of care for patients’.

The Director General of workforce at the Department of Health, Clare Chapman, said that \”We are in the process of a culture change within the NHS, where the provision of well-trained temporary staff, delivering high-quality levels of care, at reduced costs, has become a financial imperative. High levels of agency expenditure in the NHS are not acceptable, from a cost and a quality of patient care perspective.\”

Gill Bellord, Director of core services at NHS Employers went on to say that \”A key challenge is to develop the skills of organisations in planning their workforce to ensure they supply a high-quality staff best suited to the needs of patient care\”.

Recently two senior figures in the sector of Healthcare Recruitment, Kate Bleasdale of Healthcare Locums and John Faraguna of Hays Health and Social Care, voiced concerns over the Coalition Governments new permanent Immigration Cap proposals and said that highly skilled International Healthcare professionals were in great demand in the United Kingdom.

Kate Bleasdale, the Executive Vice Chairman of Healthcare Locums (HCL) said that “There is still plenty of scope for the recruitment of overseas healthcare staff into the UK, as shortage occupations will continue to be privileged. The UK is in dire need of many highly skilled professionals such as specialist nurses and midwives, radiographers, physiotherapists, qualified social workers and doctors of all grades and specialties. We are now in a global market for healthcare staff, and demand and supply dynamics strongly suggest that we will continue to see healthy movement of health and social care professionals, both into and out of the UK and all over the globe.”

Following up on the comments, which were publised by the Recuiter, John Faraguna, Managing Director of Hays Health and Social Care said “It isn’t realistic to cut the supply of skilled workers into the UK without seeing an adverse impact on our ability to deliver frontline services. In our dealings with employers it is already very apparent that there is a shortage of workers with the necessary skills. Doctors, nurses and specialists, such as radiologists and anaesthetists, are all needed to work in the NHS. The increasing pressure on frontline services due to an ageing population only exacerbates the problem. Training provision and incentives to pursue shortage professions are longer-term solutions, which should be developed in tandem. In the meantime, we are faced with a workforce that is more transient, there is greater pressure on services, and we need to attract and retain the best talent to support our economy – not cut a valuable source of skills. Skilled healthcare workers move globally and the UK’s loss will be other countries’ gain.”

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