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The UK’s largest healthcare career development event, taking place on 15-17 September, will be an unparalleled platform to meet, screen and recruit staff
The Healthcare Recruitment & Training Fair will open its doors this September from the 15-17 September at ExCel, London, and is set to assist healthcare organisations - hospitals, medical device companies, clinics, and much more - in their recruitment process in the midst of the UK’s healthcare workforce deficit.
In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicted shortages of 12.9 million health-care workers globally by 2035. Failing to immediately solve this issue will have serious health implications for billions of people across the world. This has caused tremors in hospitals and clinics currently facing projected shortages in their workforce.
In the UK, HR departments are struggling to meet workforce demands which leaves little time to plan for future staffing issues, let alone the current shortage of qualified staff in the UK, both resulting from an increase in demand for care versus a decrease in the supply of qualified staff.
Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director-general, WHO, said: “Gearing up the health workforce to meet the challenge of universal health coverage is no simple task, and continuing with the status quo in the development of human resources for health will not necessarily yield the expected results.”
Factors dictating demand
One major factor impacting the increasing demand of the UK healthcare system is attributed to the prevalence of a growing ageing population and the development of new medicines which have led to people living longer and thus places healthcare systems under more strain to manage capacity. This growth of ageing populations can only expect to further increase demand for health care services in the future.
Another major factor is the shift in the leading causes of death in the UK from communicable diseases to chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and neurological conditions such as dementia. This thus requires more physician visits per year and thus put an additional strain on the system as well.
Migration issues are also considered a significant factor in increasing healthcare demand as the global migration of ethnic minorities, and more recently migration from war, is increasing the numbers of patients in communities. While immigration into the UK tends to be of younger people and who are more likely to have lower healthcare needs, population growth is demanding is contributing to demand for NHS care. NHS workforce planning must reflect factors such as the high propensity of less health migrants to move into deprived areas where hospitals and general practitioners may be at capacity limits. This increasing demand adds significantly to the current workforce shortages and is only expected to keep on increasing over time.
Shortfalls in qualified healthcare staff is also evident by the number of job vacancies advertised for hospital and caregiver roles throughout the UK. In England, 62,520 NHS vacancies were advertised in just three months in the autumn of 2014. These shortfalls are attributed to high recruitment costs and a decrease in the number of students going into the medical field.
Looking deeper into the issues underpinning the shortage of skilled healthcare workers, high staff turnover also plays a big part; 16,000 or 30 per cent of nurses leave their roles each year. On top of this, many are also being recruited from abroad, in 2014 one in four nurses were recruited from the EU with an estimated cost of £2,500 per nurse. The importance of finding permanent staff therefore becomes crucial in the light of the government’s commitment to cut temporary staff costs by €1 billion.
Shortages in qualified staff is also stemming from the lack of young people entering medical and healthcare training programs. This drop has been attributed to high education fees and recent cuts in funding for training in healthcare disciplines. Factors such as the lengthy training programmes, antisocial working hours, high stress levels and low remuneration for junior roles also impact choices for medical and healthcare careers.
Solutions to meet current and future work force demands including promising long term government initiatives to fill the future UK healthcare deficit are already underway. These include government supported road shows, event days in schools to help generate interest at an early age in addition to fast track career development and apprentice programs in efforts to ensure qualified medical staff for the future. However, it takes time to implement such solutions. Immediate actions are needed to fill in vacancies quickly.
Kieny adds: “More health workers will be required: new modelling estimates indicate a much higher global deficit than previously thought.”
Recruiting good staff is time-consuming and costly for any organisation and as such retaining great employees should be a top priority. Career development opportunities, flexible work schedules, benefits tailored to individual needs and goals are tested ways to retain valued employees. Most good retention practices are inexpensive to implement and allows employees to grow within the organisation, and despite that few retention strategies are in place across the UK. Hospitals are thus encouraged to consider career development programs to retain key workers which will definitely build their existing workforce and meet future demands.
Recruitment shows are a popular and effective solution for providing a platform to advertise vacancies, meet and screen potential candidates on site, find top talent and reduce recruitment costs instantly. These highly effective solutions are proven to be the ideal solution to healthcare recruitment requirements now and in the future.
This year’s show
This September, the first integrated Healthcare Recruitment & Training Fair is happening from the 15–17 September in ExCel, London, UK. Organised by Informa Life Sciences Exhibitions, the fair offers the ideal opportunity for the medical industry to come together and get involved.
Host to an unrivalled portfolio of health professionals and industry leading companies and organisations, the show will be an unparalleled environment to meet and recruit talented professionals, facilitate face-to-face interactions and build long-term business relationships with the region's leading consultants, specialists, doctors, nurses, surgeons and many more.
Healthcare organisations exhibiting will gain exclusive access to domestic and international candidate’s onsite and accelerate their recruitment needs in a cost-effective way based on set specific criteria, while being able to position themselves as a leading employer in the healthcare market.
All healthcare professionals will benefit from attending, as exhibitors will be looking to recruit medical and non-medical professionals. Sales, marketing, HR, and administrative roles have all been highlighted as key positions that desperately need experienced professionals.
The show will also run 18 free-to-attend clinical and non-clinical conferences over the three days. These conferences have been tailor-made to encourage dialogue, interactive discussion and best practice sharing in key focus areas for the UK healthcare sector. Sessions are free-to-attend and each participant will receive Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points from the CPD Certification Service.
Marketing and promotional opportunities such as sponsoring the show will also assure that sponsors get increased exposure to the market through the fully integrated marketing campaign that will take place ahead of the show.
Gareth Fitzgerald and Amanda Grantham, healthcare experts at PA Consulting, discusses how UK hospitals can improve patient flow