Less reliance on agency staff

Niall Dickson

The newly appointed CEO of the NHS Confederation said he favours the NHS recruiting more permanent staff and relying less on temporary agency staff.

Niall Dickson, who officially takes up his position with the body that represents NHS healthcare providers and commissioning groups on 1 February, told a press conference in London, at which his appointment was announced: “I don’t want to cast aspersions on those that do agency or locum work because they are, and have been, vital in keeping the service going. But being in a position where the service is able to recruit permanent staff does create much more [workforce] stability. And I would say that is clearly the goal of virtually every healthcare organisation in the country.”

Dickson said there were many reasons why the NHS has struggled in the past to recruit and retain more permanent staff. He said the NHS could improve by better valuing and supporting its existing staff, particularly given the current well-documented pressures they are working under. “There have been big changes in the workforce, in people’s expectations about work” – the greater prevalence of part-time work, for example – and the system would have to “change how it accommodates different expectations from staff themselves about how they will work”.

Asked by Recruiter whether he was concerned that Brexit could make it more difficult to recruit the staff the NHS needs, Dickson responded: “We don’t know what the result of the negotiations will be, so we don’t know what the impact will be in terms of the UK government allowing immigration from Europe for particular professions, and so forth.”

He added: “The NHS historically, you could say, has over-relied on people who have been trained in other countries, but going forward we will continue to rely to a degree on that.” A two-way interchange of health professionals between the UK and other countries in a global world “is a positive thing”, he said, adding that the government’s commitment in England to increase the number of medical places and doctors produced in the UK “is to be welcomed”. “It isn’t a question of creating ‘Fortress Britain’,” said Dickson.

New approach needed to retain and recruit mental health nurses

The UK government needs an entirely new approach that prioritises retention as well as recruitment to arrest the alarming decline in mental health nurse numbers.

21 May 2019

APPOINTMENTS: 20-24 MAY 2019

This week’s appointments include: Airswift, Bullhorn, Europa Worldwide Group, GatenbySanderson, The AA, Xpertise Recruitment

People 20 May 2019

Use of HMRC’s CEST tool by Met Office and CCS criticised by contracting body

ContractorCalculator has raised further concerns over the accuracy of HM Revenue & Customs’ Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool.

Legislation 14 May 2019

Home care service looks to recruit for 100 roles in Scotland

A newly-launched home health service is calling on social care professionals to apply for one of the 100 live-in care roles on offer across Scotland.

14 May 2019
Top