From Apps to Agility – What Healthcare Candidates Must Know

Though NHS service satisfaction has increased, cancer survival is at its highest and £20bn worth of efficiency savings are being made effectively. Leading a 2014 report to declare the NHS “… one of the top-performing healthcare systems in the world.” From staff shortfalls to the burdens of an ageing population the future of the UK’s Healthcare sector is a topic of huge debate.

While the Health & Social Care Act 2012 seeks to increase service competition and quality. The technological advancements will see healthcare systems digitised and streamlined by 2020. For candidates passionate about healthcare sector these changes could provide a unique opportunity to create the career they really want.

TALENT – TRENDS

A recent think tank found the fast-paced hospital sector was booming with doctors, while a combination of bad press, lack of university support and negative stereotypes has seen general practice fall out of favour. Right now only 20% of GP specialty trained doctors choose to go on and work in general practice and experts estimate 10,000 extra GPs will be needed by 2020.
Now an RCGP recruitment video seeks to inspire medical students to take up general practice, saying: “ The future of the NHS lies not in hospitals but in general practice.”

TALENTS – YOUR OPPORTUNITIES

Unprecedented demand means in future up to 50% of all speciality training places will be in general practice. While sector reforms will see primary care integrated with the rest of the health service. Meaning, frontline care providers will have a unique opportunity to respond to the UK’s health challenges, making for an exciting future both in general practice and healthcare at large.

“Qualifications aside candidates need to demonstrate a range of soft skills from time management to communication and dedication to CPD,” says Angel Healthcare specialist, Jemma Barnett. “But key is passion.” Access to impartial career guidance is vital, and by aligning with an agency, like Angel, candidates will be supported in achieving their professional aspirations wherever they may be.

THE ON-DEMAND WORKFORCE – TRENDS

Recently A&E departments revealed over 25% of their senior staff vacancies were filled by agency workers or locums. Today’s providers are adapting to a future where on-demand working is the norm, not an emergency solution.

Though criticised as expensive, private practice and flexible working opportunities are becoming an attractive option for healthcare professionals. Indeed, agility is today’s business buzzword and to remain competitive the NHS must respond. Angel’s Healthcare consultant says, “Services must meet 21st century needs, support seven-day working and deliver the right care when and where it’s needed.” So what does this mean for candidates?

THE ON-DEMAND WORKFORCE – YOUR OPPORTUNITIES

According to Recruitment International UK: “Agency staff play a vital role in the NHS, giving hospitals the flexibility to cope with fluctuating staff numbers and helping them to avoid potentially dangerous under-staffing.”

Temporary or contract work can appear unpredictable but flexible working can provide a unique opportunity to create a career to suit your work-life balance. Agency nurses, for example, often work for better money and fewer hours, citing the ability to pursue career-enhancing education or caring for families alongside work as benefits. While contract work can offer valuable experience across providers.

“Healthcare professionals are always in demand,” says Jemma. “And a good agency will ensure candidates find the right positions, while tech and phone support mean finding appropriate roles is easier than ever.”

TECHNOLOGY – TRENDS

Better use of technology and data is key to the UK’s future healthcare strategy. As access to technology increases patients and citizens will be encouraged to take control of their health and wellbeing through initiatives like NHS Choices. Indeed, by 2020 all NHS services are expected to have digital and interoperable systems and healthcare teams will follow heart surgeons and use technology for real-time record-sharing.

Angel HR consultant has noticed, “Government wants to make the NHS a digital pioneer for patients and citizens but digitisation means exciting opportunities for people working in this industry too.”

TECHNOLOGY – YOUR OPPORTUNITIES

While computer-based medical records, X-rays, CAT scans and ECG monitors already make healthcare more effective and efficient increasing technological advances have the potential to liberate staff from computer terminals to concentrate on what they do best – care. Supported by apps like UptoDate which provides “…immediate evidence-based opinion and treatment recommendations…”, for example, medics can assist patients without leaving the room.

Healthcare professionals need to be confident with technology and processes. Indeed initiatives like the NHS’s Code4Health programme supports digital literacy development and promotes engagement in the design and implementation of apps and other digital services.

Angel HR says, “Tech savvy medics will be empowered to concentrate on care while having unparalleled opportunities to participate in healthcare innovations.” And, this works both ways. Today’s employers know good talent doesn’t wait, aligning with agencies to connect with prospective candidates anytime, anywhere, on any device. While great candidates can manage their career online and off.

CONCLUSION

The UK healthcare sector is facing unprecedented technological changes, legislative and organisational reform which will provide passionate candidates with an opportunity to create a more efficient and more effective system for everyone and forge a fulfilling career