HCL, the largest supplier of healthcare professionals to the NHS, welcomes the report by NHS Professionals ‘Medical Locum Expenditure: treating the disease, not the symptoms’ which we hope will urge the NHS to take action around continued underperformance in workforce management.
NHS spend on locum doctors (and many other healthcare professionals) has long been singled out for criticism by those who see this as an unacceptable use of public money and vilifying staffing agencies as the culprits – which is rather akin to criticising garages for selling too much fuel!
NHSP’s paper acknowledges that some locum doctors are happy to participate in a culture of exploiting market forces to play agencies (and Trusts!) off against one another to maximise earnings. The best agencies have known this for a long time and are already working in partnership with their clients to stop this expensive game of chess – see HCL’s ‘Curing the Doctors Dilemma’ at http://tinyurl.com/cxqld3e.
We have long called for the NHS to work in partnership with reputable, expert suppliers to find workable, mutually beneficial and long term solutions. The best agencies have long since recognised the need to adapt and have significantly changed their operations to accommodate the needs of their biggest client recognising that:
- Healthcare truly is a 24/7 business
- Flexibility in the workforce is the only solution for a modern healthcare system
- Significant, recurring, long-term financial savings will only be achieved by working with expert partners
- Trusts will get nowhere fast duplicating and replicating costly half-measures time and again all over the country
- Patient safety can only be truly underpinned through a professionally recruited, compliant and motivated workforce
The DH identified workforce reform in its cost-saving QIPP initiative as far back as 2008 and specifically addressed the use of temporary staffing agencies, yet four years on the fundamental task of achieving cutting-edge workforce planning continues to elude almost all Trusts. Locum agencies provide critical back up when the NHS’ own systems inevitably fail and while it is essential that all NHS spend be scrutinised it is time for a fundamental shift in the way the NHS manages its biggest asset.
For any further information, contact HCL Communications and PR Manager Laura Ackland on +44 (0) 207 451 1448.
About HCL plc
HCL plc, headquartered in London, was formed in 2003 and is a leading provider of staffing solutions in the health and social care sectors within our chosen markets. HCL supply over 2,000 temporary and permanent doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, qualified social workers and administration & clerical staff to public and private sectors every week. We are an international company with offices in UK and Australia and recruitment drives in Europe. For more information please visit our website at www.hclplc.com, view our facebook page or follow us on twitter @HCLplc