PAYE umbrella contractors with a knowledge of and experience in the healthcare sector will be in a prime position to take advantage of a pending staff shortage in the NHS, but only if NHS managers act on the recommendations of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

A recent survey from the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) highlighted that a number of unavoidable circumstances, such as staff retirement, training budget shortages and reduced hiring from foreign sources, is making the possibility of widespread staff shortages ever more likely. Expectations include a reduction of 28% in nursing staff over the next decade – the worst-case scenario. In an attempt to prevent this from happening, the REC is recommending that NHS manager consider flexible hours and conditions for all their workers in order to attract more interest in the area.

Ed McRandal, REC Healthcare advisor, indicated that the care of patients must remain the primary focus of the NHS and that staff shortages should not be allowed to influence this situation as shortages in out-of-hours doctors have already had a negative impact. He added that the Government “must ensure that these pressures do not spread to the nursing service.”

He also indicated that imitating the private sector by allowing flexible working conditions and adding temporary (locum) staff to the mix would be of immense benefit to the NHS, adding, “We have seen cases across the UK of patient care suffering as a result of understaffing in hospitals – we must ensure that such instances do not recur.”

Umbrella companies who can supply professionals suitable for NHS positions are likely to perform very well in the foreseeable future.

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