Skilled PAYE umbrella contractors with skills in the healthcare sector may find themselves in increased demand following a damning report by the Care Quality Commission detailing serious staffing shortages in the NHS.

Several UK hospitals are failing in the most rudimentary aspects of patient care, the report reveals. The problem is especially acute in specialist services such as stroke recovery units, where staff complained that they were overstretched and that there were simply not enough professionals to meet the needs of patients adequately.

Commenting on the CQC’s findings, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s Healthcare Advisor, Ed McRandal, said that the challenges faced by the NHS were undoubtedly tough; it is facing extensive reforms and must also deliver £20 billion in efficiency savings. But, he went on, “The NHS must continue to maintain standards of patient care against the backdrop of an ageing population.  Unless the NHS is sufficiently staffed we risk undermining this and it is notable the CQC identified staff shortages as a major problem in many failing trusts.”

Mr McRandal believes that NHS commissioning bodies should look to payroll outsourcing solutions – hiring locum doctors and nurses, in other words – as a means of plugging their staffing gaps with highly skilled personnel.

He added “The availability of high quality staff is one of the major determinants in effective treatment and we must avoid the situation where trusts are making short term recruitment savings that jeopardize the provision of long term care. The NHS must recognize the value that a flexible workforce brings in driving up standards, it is time that locum staff were hailed not curtailed.”

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