“Agency staff provide a vital service in ensuring safe staffing levels”
The REC’s CEO explains why locum staff should be championed
The UK’s NHS seems to be in a constant state of flux recently, not only with regards to the well advertised financial crisis that has been predicted to hit next year, but also because of the numerous initiatives and schemes that are prompting change across the entire system. Adjusting and adapting have now become the norm, and it is crucial that the recruitment industry, supplying highly qualified medical locums to Britain’s hospitals, keeps up with staggering increases in demand.
If anyone knows a thing or two about transforming budding ideas into a success laden organisation, then the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s very own CEO Kevin Green would be the man to turn to. Joining the professional recruitment board in June 2008 from a position at Royal Mail, his innovative schemes strive to bring excellent customer service to REC members, aiding the recruitment industry to continue being an all-important driving force for short staffed sectors. Introducing dedicated account managers, business support from the Recruitment Business Academy and the Institute of Recruitment Professionals, it is little surprise that Mr Green has managed to tuck away nine trade association and member awards, as well as winning the prestigious Trade Association Forum’s leadership award.
The REC play an incredibly active role within the recruitment industry, with their Health and Social Care branch liaising with the NHS Employers National Agency and Temporary Staffing Strategic Forum, the Department of Health’s National Procurement Council and the Local Government Association’s Employer Standards Advisory Group. “The REC supports recruitment companies to go above and beyond the regulations and standards of compliance expected within the Health and Social Care industry. We provide free legal assistance including a legal helpline, model contracts and guidance, and regular updates on the latest regulatory changes,” Mr Green explains.
Advocates for locum doctors, bank nurses, allied health professionals, carers and social workers, Mr Green emphasises the interactive stance recruitment companies should take, saying “Our REC Health and Social Care sector group provides a forum through which members can take a more proactive role in shaping the regulatory and policy landscape. The group regularly works with Department of Health, the major procurement and professional bodies and unions to not only create the right business landscape, but to also champion the contribution of agency health and social care professionals.”
With the Department of Health dedicated to finding £1.5 billion in procurement efficiencies by 2016, Mr Green identifies that NHS agency spend has become a key target, with recruitment companies, such as Total Assist Group, increasingly having to showcase added value to clients, to help demonstrate how agencies can aid flagging front line staff, for example, helping to reform workforce planning and management.
“A lack of investment in the health and social care talent pipeline is starting to bite, with many employers looking overseas for candidates. The REC’s and KPMG’s monthly report on jobs consistently finds nursing/medical/care in the top three sectors in terms of demand from employers,” Mr Green says. “The pressure on margins means that healthcare recruitment companies have to work increasingly harder to attract top quality candidates. Many of our members are differentiating themselves in the market based on the training and welfare support they provide.”
Providing essential services
Mr Green is fully aware of the important role of locum staff within the healthcare sector. “There will always be a need for contingency labour to cover last minute absences, like sick leave,” he explains. “Agencies provide a service 24 hours a day to ensure that hospitals can always get cover when required. However, at a time of critical staff shortages in the NHS, agency staff provide a vital service in ensuring safe staffing levels.” Speaking out about the view of temporary medics within the NHS, Mr Green also emphasises “Often too much of a distinction is made between locum and permanent staff within the NHS; many agency staff are ex-NHS employees or have combined roles; they also return to the same wards time and time again, building good relationship with their clients.”
With Mr Green spearheading the support from the REC, the recruitment industry supplying the NHS in these times of change are sure to flourish as locum staff work harder than ever to ease pressures across the country, giving high calibre care to every single patient.
[testimonial name=”Recruitment Influencer – Kevin Green” who=”CEO of the REC” imagelinks=”http://totalassist.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Kevin-Green-e1408361016127.jpg” vertical=”no”]”With a high drive focus on customer service and business support, Kevin Green has flourished as CEO of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation since 2008, winning prestigious leadership awards.”[/testimonial]