HCL Anticipates Increasing Demand
HCL Anticipates Increasing Demand for Locums as NHS Funding is Squeezed
HCL, the UKs largest health and social care recruiter, said today that it anticipates increasing demand for its temporary and locum staff as the NHS seeks to increase efficiencies in healthcare provision.
The Company was responding to a report issued yesterday by the NHS Confederation, which pointed to an expected 15 billion contraction in NHS finances in the five years from 2011. The Report warned that cuts in spending could lead to a reduction of permanent staff, as the very advantageous levels of pay and pension provision in the public sector become increasingly difficult to sustain.
The Report recommends that quality and efficiency within the health service are best achieved by re-designing clinical services, by utilising the healthcare workforce more efficiently and also by taking a more commercial approach towards commissioning services.
Kate Bleasdale, Executive Vice Chairman of HCL, said: These findings confirm what we have been saying for some time: using a greater flexible workforce of highly skilled and appropriately qualified locums is the only way that the NHS can increase efficiencies and save money without compromising frontline services to patients. This is because current levels of public sector spending are unsustainable the NHS pension bill alone rose by 52 billion last year.
Locum staff cost the taxpayer less than permanent staff as they do not receive public sector pensions and benefits. Furthermore, flexible workforces are adaptable healthcare professionals can be moved around quickly depending on where they are most needed to meet the fluctuating demands of the population.
HCL expects to see steadily increasing demands for our services as NHS Trusts seek to improve efficiency and save money. We also anticipate further increases in demand in our rapidly growing International division, as Trusts look to make up the shortfall of staff in the UK by sourcing qualified healthcare professionals from our worldwide networks.
These are challenging times for the NHS, as the funding squeeze coincides with the increasing demands of an ageing population, and as the recession itself takes its toll on the nations health.
HCL is committed to supporting the NHS in driving innovation through healthcare staffing provision, to ensure that patients continue to receive the highest level of care.