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September News Round-Up

In the last newsletter from My Healthcare Recruit we took the opportunity to round up the relevant industry news, mainly because we thought it would make it easier for you. So in an effort to once again, ‘do some heavy lifting’ on your behalf we thought we’d do the same again … in fact we suspect it will be it will be a regular occurrence going forward.

Just waiting for waiting times to increase

What’s been said

During the height of the pandemic it was a problem. An unexpected problem but the nevertheless a problem. People that needed hospital treatment started to stay away, predominantly through fear of contraction, but also because of not wanting to create an additional burden on an already creaking healthcare service.

The inevitable result is a backlog of treatment cases which undoubtedly will results in an increase in waiting times. We may well be pulling away from the peak of the pandemic but the ensuing problems still remain.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/01/nhs-waiting-times-patients-private-companies

Our view

But let’s not forget that the waiting times have already been a problem, it didn’t suddenly happen because of Covid-19, it just made them worse and resultant financial penalties that some trust will incur are only going to make things worse. The Chancellor of the Exchequer made a commitment when he said “whatever it takes” … we hope that promise will be realized sooner rather than later.

 

Clinicians v managers, the lazy argument

What’s been said

Spend some time with anyone that doesn’t work for the NHS and it won’t be long before someone says the line ‘well, you know the problem is, there are too many managers and not enough doctors and nurses’. The BMJ suggests that this is too simplistic a view and that it demonstrates a lack of real understanding of where the problem lies with NHS funding.

https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3331

Our view

This suggests that the very people that work in healthcare don’t know what’s best for the industry itself. This isn’t actually helped by a string of Government Health Ministers who seem to lay the blame squarely with ‘over management’, regardless of the fact that we can’t remember a single Health Minister in recent history with any frontline healthcare experience.

If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that hospitals don’t just need clinical staff, they need to be well oiled machines that have the capability to manage unforeseen situations and cope.

 

Nursing apprenticeship fund to get boost

What’s been said

It’s a well-known fact that there’s a nursing shortage in the UK with current estimates suggesting a gap of 50,000. The most obvious solution it to attract more UK based nurses in the first instance. With that in mind the BBC reported that the Department for Health and Social Care is to allocate a fund of up to £172m to encourage apprentice nurses in to the UK healthcare industry.

Nursing apprenticeships offer an alternative to full time university course, allowing people to learn on the job, earn a salary and have their tuition fees paid. This much needed investment should result in up to 2,000 additional apprentices coming into the sector each year which although isn’t enough, is a significant step in the right direction, especially when coupled with international recruitment of nurses.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53717921

Our view

At My Healthcare Recruit we think it’s great to this additional funding for nursing apprenticeship but we also know that it is not the only way for solving the shortage problem. The other solution, alongside apprenticeships, is via the international recruitment of nurses and making that process as frictionless as possible from a regulatory perspective.

 

Are 20 second airport tests nearly here?

What’s been said

Reports in the media suggest that a 20 second Covid-19 saliva test is about to be piloted in the UK following an initial trial at Heathrow, one of the world’s busiest airports.

The self-administered mouth swab test is analysed by digital microscope technology using artificial intelligence powered software to deliver almost instant test results with an incredibly high level of accuracy. Tests are continuing at Bristol University with the hope that a low cost, repeatable and simple could be close.

https://www.fiercebiotech.com/medtech/20-second-coronavirus-screening-test-piloted-at-u-k-s-heathrow-airport

Our view

Anything that speeds up the country’s point of entry testing would be welcome as it will allow us to get our nurses in, get them settled quarantine free and get them on to the healthcare front line where they can start to make a real difference.