HomeTalentTalent DevelopmentNHS reduction in agency staff signals a step in the right direction

NHS reduction in agency staff signals a step in the right direction

  • 3 Min Read

There have been recent changes in the number of agency staff members at the NHS, Matt Hancock’s call to proceed with these plans is a good step. However, Philip Braham, co-founder of Remedium Partners says that more support is needed.

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In recent times there have been significant shifts in NHS reducing their staff. The health and social care secretary said herself that using such a high volume of staff can be “demoralising for workers”.

Following on from this sudden announcement to cut down on staff. Philip Braham, co-founder of Remedium Partners – a consultancy which specialises in the recruitment of overseas permanent doctors to ease the Trusts’ reliance on agency locums – commented on this in a positive fashion being convinced that this a step in the right direction.

“As we’ve long stressed, the on-going use of agency locums creates an unsustainable environment that can be hugely costly to the NHS. We know that agency locums have their place as a short-term resource in the health economy, but they should not be the “go to” staffing solution.  When we further consider that consistency is critical to providing the best possible patient care, looking at increasing permanent headcount and reducing the reliance on agency locums makes perfect sense.”

Philip went onto discuss the benefits of these steps being made, and the talent pool that the NHS has available to them.

“Of course, there are talent challenges that Trusts are facing, but with the Tier 2 visa cap lifted for doctors, the NHS can tap into rich international talent pools much easier. In fact, since this action was taken in July, we’ve noted a significant increase in the approval of Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS), particularly in non-shortage occupations. This suggests that there are already positive steps being made to increase permanent headcount and streamline recruitment processes.”

It does seem that the NHS is making these improvements to financial cost on staff in recent years. As the latest NHS figures show that in England, the spend of this agency was £2.4bn, in comparison to the £3.6bn spent in 2015/16. Although this is a great start to the progression that is intended to be made. Phillip continues to discuss how these plans can be improved.

“In order to ensure this more strategic approach to resource planning continues, however, there will need to be on-going guidance across Trusts and a real drive from the top as to why this approach is best for both the NHS and patients. We hope that in his role as “executive chairman of the system as a whole” Mr Hancock continues to spread the message across Trusts to think long-term, not locum.

Established in 2013, Remedium Partners is fast becoming one of the leading providers of permanent and fixed-term doctors into the NHS. At Remedium Partners, we believe that placing permanent and fixed term doctors, rather than locums, saves the health service time and money. Having placed over 700 doctors since we were founded, we estimate to have saved the NHS in excess of £70M.

With over 20 years of healthcare and recruitment experience collectively, our team truly understand the market we operate in and the qualities of our doctors, best matching them to the needs of our clients. The positions we work on require a unique understanding of medical specialities and our team of highly experienced market specialists, both in the UK and India, enable us to source high calibre candidates from around the world.

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