The Coronavirus pandemic has seen healthcare services be significantly impacted, with those working in the sector forced under immense pressure. As the infection rates across the globe increased, the British government requested further healthcare support in a desperate act to slow the rates and ease pressure on the NHS.

This saw over 500 doctors and 4,000 nurses interrupt their retirement to assist in battling the virus. We take a look at the impact that COVID-19 has had on healthcare recruitment and detail how the specialist healthcare recruitment agency Austin Dean Recruitment can help you.

The NHS Recruitment Challenge

Constituting the largest professional group in the U.K, nurses have been praised for their crucial roles throughout the pandemic. Thanks to their coordination and dedication, invaluable care for patients affected has been brought above, saving thousands of lives. And, this isn’t the first time that nurses and healthcare workers have performed so outstandingly which we must recognise and value.

With this said, the NHS has faced a huge recruitment challenge which was already prevalent prior to the virus outbreak. The system was struggling to retain its current workforce which has seen alarming nurse resignation statistics. There were over 100,000 unfilled vacancies before the crisis, which has further increased due to the unforeseen impact of the virus.

So, the question posed is: What solution can be offered for the healthcare recruitment challenge?

Specialist Healthcare Recruiters At Austin Dean

While the focus rightfully must remain on immediate mobilisation to relieve the pressure of the current healthcare crisis, future workforce planning is absolutely crucial. As new policies come into action here in the U.K in response to the challenge, it’s important to recognise that overseas employees contribute significantly to NHS staffing.

At Austin Dean Recruitment we pride ourselves in providing specialist healthcare staffing solutions at the right time. Amid the crisis, when the announcement was made that professionals such as doctors, nurses, and paramedics would automatically have their visas extended for a year, we welcomed the news. As instant relief for a situation that was growing ever more stressful, this temporary move was a powerful one.

However, it leaves the long-term scenario looking uncertain. As healthcare recruitment specialists, Austin Dean Recruitment offers diverse and innovative services to clients seeking both temporary and permanent staffing. Helping clients located across the globe since 2008, our knowledge and experience of healthcare recruitment means that there is a way to bring about solutions in the long-term too.

A Global Recruitment Effort

Austin Dean Recruitment continues to run successful overseas campaigns for the healthcare sector. From the organisation of larger scaled induction programmes to resourcing nurses from overseas, the healthcare agency is one to turn to right now and in the future.

Kaitlin Walsh, a specialist recruiter spoke of how Austin Dean Recruitment commit to an approach that promotes healthcare careers:

‘We are committed to playing a proactive and compliant role in international recruitment drives, and in promoting careers in healthcare, as an approved framework provider we guarantee our ethical approach to international recruitment’.

Our Solution: An Integrated And International Recruitment System

Through partnering with local agents, the global Austin Dean Recruitment team is working towards bringing about stable NHS vacancy rates, particularly for nursing roles. With predictions made to successfully recruit 200 nurses for the NHS by March 2022 and furthermore, 300 by the end of 2023, there is a big task ahead.

Austin Dean Recruitment’s team are experienced across all areas of recruitment and fully capable of fulfilling the task. Minimising the stress that service managers experience and providing a cost-effective approach, there are plenty of advantages that come with choosing Austin Dean Recruitment:

  • Streamlined processes
  • Reduction in competition
  • Sharing expertise
  • Fewer expenses

Partnering up internationally to tackle NHS nurse staffing will help to create an integrated care system with huge advantages for those involved. While international recruitment campaigns are by no means a quick fix (taking between 6-12 months), with the right team there is a solution ahead.

However, in the meantime, it’s essential to look at what can be done for nurses and healthcare workers who are facing unprecedented stress due to coronavirus.

Advice From Mind 

The government is increasing its efforts to tackle major issues such as the lack of PPE that has been available to nurses and healthcare staff throughout the pandemic. It’s also essential to look at how healthcare workers can avoid burnout in their roles mentally.
Because many healthcare workers’ roles are focused on others’ care, their health and well-being can be negatively impacted. Here are some tips that have been put together by the Mind for key NHS workers, with a focus on nurses:

  • Take time for yourself before a shift – practice deep breathing to slow your heart rate if you feel anxious, challenge any negative assumptions or thoughts, and make a pledge to leave worries behind for the day until later.
  • Take all of your breaks – in an environment of increased pressure, it can be easy not to take breaks and work instead. Taking breaks is vital for rest and allow you to check in on basic needs such as hydration.
  • Focus on how you’re feeling – be sure to regularly check-in with yourself to reflect on how you are feeling. This will allow you to identify the emotion and deal with it where you can in the best possible way.
    Talk with colleagues – having an open and honest discussion about how you’re feeling with others can help. There are many ways to create a support system in the workplace with colleagues if you’re a healthcare worker.
  • Look after your body when on shifts – though the main priority is patients’ health, you should still make sure you are caring for yourself. Have proper meals where you can and prepare beforehand if doable. If you have a more extended break, catch up on sleep where possible too.
  • Create a work/life balance – be sure to do something that you enjoy each day if you can. Even a simple walk with the dog in a natural setting is a simple enough activity to help take your focus away from work.

Accessing Occupational Health Services

One of the most significant advantages of working for the NHS is the range of occupational health services available. If you’re an NHS staff member, there is a range of services for mental health support that will be available to you.

The NHS has extended mental health services available to staff as of October 2020. An extra £15 million is expected to be invested into services available to nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, GPs, and support staff.
Those that choose to refer themselves will be assessed at a far quicker rate and are guaranteed treatment from expert specialists. NHS National Mental Health Director, Claire Murdoch, stated, “It is crucial that the NHS staff working tirelessly to protect the health of the nation throughout this pandemic are given the support they deserve, which is why we are announcing this expansion of services.”
If you’re a nurse or healthcare worker suffering from poor mental health, you can find out more information about the support available over on the NHS website.

Are you hoping to start a career in healthcare? At Austin Dean Recruitment, we have a range of vacancies to discuss with you. Contact us today to begin your life-changing career in healthcare at 020 3489 6070.