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REC Medical responds to the Public Health White paper

REC Medical responds to the Public Health White paper
Following the publication of the Public Health White Paper, REC Medical has warned that increased spending demands should not compromise the delivery of frontline services and adequate staffing levels.
The Health White paper seeks to renew a focus on preventative health strategies advocating a new localised structure.  Directors of Public Health will be employed by local authorities in order to implement community driven healthcare solutions.  The White Paper also has significant implications for the funding and delivery of NHS Services, with confirmation that the Public Health Budget would be ringfenced and a new health premium created.
Commenting on the implications of these broad changes for medical staffing Pamela Bickley, a member of the REC Medical Executive committee said:
Whilst we welcome a renewed focus on preventative healthcare and on localised decision-making, it is crucial that increased financial pressures do not impinge on the delivery of front line services. Changes to overall NHS Infrastructure must not draw attention away from crucial staffing issues.  Modern and cost effective resourcing strategies must embrace flexible staffing solutions to continue delivering NHS Services.
As we have seen in the recent guidance from NHS Employers, Agency budgets are seen as an easy target with which to balance the books.  This is both misguided and short-sighted flexible staffing arrangements are crucial means of delivering services and supporting the core workforce.  Not only do they allow Trusts to react to changing demands, but prove cost effective when weighed against the cost of employing permanent staff, or using in house staffing banks to replicate the work of specialised Recruitment agencies. 
As the NHS goes through a period of speedy reform, it has never been more important that Trusts have access to a flexible workforce to manage shifting requirements and demands. 
Whilst we support many of the proposals in the White paper,  REC Medical will continue to make the case with the Department of Health that flexible staffing solutions should remain central to NHS delivery, Pamela Bickley added.


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