NHS staff shortages could lead to huge opportunity for umbrella contractors

(2 minutes to read)

We read with interest a report that was issued this week by the Care Quality Commission, which outlined a series of serious staffing shortages in the NHS. It seems that numerous UK hospitals are ‘failing in the most rudimentary aspects of patient care’, with the problem being especially noticeable in specialist services like stroke recovery units. Here, staff were complaining that they are ‘overstretched’ and that there were not enough qualified professional healthcare staff in place to enable them to carry out their job effectively and so to meet patients’ needs. And while we wouldn’t wish any suffering on anyone of course, this could result in a perfect opportunity for umbrella contractors working in the healthcare arena!

The REC’s Healthcare Advisor Ed McRandal believes that NHS commissioning bodies should look to payroll outsourcing solutions – hiring locum doctors and nurses, in other words – as a means of plugging their staffing gaps with highly skilled personnel. Commenting on the findings, he first acknowledged that the challenges which the NHS is facing were undoubtedly tough, as it is having to implement major reforms and yet must also deliver £20 billion in efficiency savings. But he went on to say that “The NHS must continue to maintain standards of patient care against the backdrop of an ageing population. Unless the NHS is sufficiently staffed we risk undermining this and it is notable the CQC identified staff shortages as a major problem in many failing trusts. The availability of high quality staff is one of the major determinants in effective treatment and we must avoid the situation where trusts are making short term recruitment savings that jeopardise the provision of long term care. The NHS must recognise the value that a flexible workforce brings in driving up standards, it is time that locum staff were hailed not curtailed.”

Locum doctors and other healthcare staff working through umbrella companies should find this news just the tonic they need!

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