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Recruitment agencies a scapegoat for NHS failings?

Recruitment agencies a scapegoat for NHS failings?

The NHS could not function effectively without the aid and support of specialist recruitment consultancies yet recruiters are still portrayed as the bad guy an image which needs to change. Thats the message from specialist healthcare recruiter Arrows Group.

With the NHS conducting massive spending cuts as the government seeks to claw back the money lost in the financial crisis, recruitment agencies servicing this competitive area are facing increasing calls to justify their fees. However Managing Director of Arrows Group, James Parsons, says that without organisations like his the NHS simply could not operate and that his firm and its peers are taking a sensible, responsible attitude to business and helping the NHS provide the best possible service.

Firms like us work closely with individual NHS Trusts to provide key front line staff in specialist areas such as paediatric, A&E, theatre and midwifery. These nurses are often in very short supply and play an absolutely critical role in the successful running of hospital wards without them many would have to close thus incurring greater costs that far exceed agency fees. Many negative preconceptions about agencies and their staff originate form a time when less reputable agencies could work with little restriction. These days we are highly regulated in terms of compliance and working practice, something we support completely.

With fixed costs such as pensions, sick leave, absenteeism and the increasing back office and administrative requirements the actual price differentiator between fulltime NHS and temporary agency staff is shrinking all the time. Hospitals also only have to use the temp staff when needed - they can turn the tap on or off at very short notice we operate 24/7 and receive requests and cancellations throughout the day and night. Yes, the NHS pays a premium for our services, but for that hospitals have access to the right staff exactly when they need them and when you take a longer-term view of the alternative options its a small price to pay.

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