Readers’ Views: 31 July-4 August 2017

A weekly round-up of comments on recruiter.co.uk stories

I read your article carefully (‘Recruiters slam government announcement for mental health workers’, 31 July), which was an interesting read and I must compliment Barry Pactor [ttm Healthcare] for his comments and facts – his input isn't the run-of-the-mill dross.

The problem with attraction and retention is the NHS don't employ or hire on a contract basis driven, militant, serious players who get things done and who don't live in a rose-tinted bubble.

Another correction for them and [health secretary] Jeremy Hunt to make is reduce the focus on the agency arena and really target the student pipeline, morale and attrition, so they produce enough staff and hold onto them. Hunt tried but failed at closing down the agency spend – fact. Jim Mackey [CEO of NHS Improvement] and Hunt lost their way and took their eye off the real issue: the UK isn’t producing enough staff. 

One last focus, which granted is an agency one, is with a successful mission the savings can be invested into hiring more Filipino and Indian nurses by coaching them through IELTS [International English language test system] etc.

Thornbury Nursing [Services] agency is, and is said to have posted its best GM [gross margin] weeks of late… and they are generating circa £500k per week GM!

It’s expensive to run NHSI, and the frameworks need to ban this agency so the profits are eliminated and this money is invested into longer-term staffing solutions. Agency rules haven’t worked sadly.

Your World Recruitment has reactivated an off-contract agency similar to Thornbury called Temps4Healthcare and there are other top 10 UK agencies operating off-contract agencies from the same trading floor as their framework agency. Eradicate and force supply through cost-effective suppliers to reduce expenditure and use this cash on more constructive ideas and solutions.

Money wasted on agencies that are clearly not operating in the spirit of the agency rules must be redirected to perm recruitment, training spaces and retention. A tighter control and harder line must be taken with the firms who portray a whiter than white image but behind the scenes…

Chris Osborne, director of nursing

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