Doctor Changeover: Strategic Workforce Planning

Doctor Changeover

Every year in the NHS, the first Wednesday of every August is doctor changeover day. On this day, thousands of junior doctors begin working in our UK hospitals for the first time, and many more change roles as they move along the progression ladder.

Doctor Changeover Can Be A Stressful Time

Changeover time is famously stressful for NHS clinicians and patients but it can also be a stressful time for our clients in medical staffing. Due to the severity of the UK healthcare staffing crisis, it’s inevitable that NHS Trusts will be facing vacancies across the medical workforce. At this time of year, NHS Trusts must face their vacancies head-on and become aware of the medical staffing gaps they might have going into winter.

The NHS Simply Needs More Doctors

Filling NHS doctor vacancies at short notice can be tricky. Considering that recent reports estimate a shortage of 12,000 hospital doctors across NHS England it can be especially tricky. We’ve simply not trained enough doctors in the UK to meet healthcare demand. This is why NHS Trusts find themselves in the agency locum bind and are forced to use temporary doctors to run routine services – a costly solution with negative consequences for patient care.

At Remedium, we believe that until we train enough doctors to meet demand, increasing the ethical international recruitment of permanent clinicians is the only way to address current staffing shortages. We have strong international pipelines across all specialties and have candidates ready to go in 1-3 months, meaning that your August rotational gaps could be fulfilled without relying on locums for the rest of the year.

Start Planning Now for Next Year’s Doctor Changeover

Strategic workforce planning is the key to surviving doctor changeover week. For example, our client, Manchester University Hospital Foundation Trust (MFT), is one of the UK’s largest NHS Hospital Trusts, so they must be especially strategic to avoid unnecessary locum use. Last year, they engaged our Remedium Solutions team in a full workforce planning project and found a need to recruit permanent doctors en masse to meet future demand ahead of doctor changeover in August. They knew that they would suddenly have a high level of vacancies at this time and therefore proactively asked us to design and implement an international recruitment project and fill all those gaps so that come August they would not need to be reliant on locums to meet the shortfall.

At Remedium, we always tailor our solutions according to the needs of our clients. Another Remedium client, Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, found it difficult to cope with recruitment surges such as those experienced during doctor changeover. So, we designed and implemented a recruitment process outsourcing solution which supported the Trust to temporarily expand resource capacity during recruitment surges. As part of this solution, we’re supporting the Trust with the onboarding of their August intake, relieving the pressure from their internal team during a time which is often very pressured and allowing them to maintain business as usual.

Remedium Can Support You to Overcome the Doctor Changeover Challenge

At Remedium, we care deeply about the future of our NHS and we know we’re supporting our clients to address complex and multifaceted problems. That’s why we are dedicated to solving the healthcare staffing crisis in the UK. Click here to contact our client service team and to find out more about how we can support your Trust to become more proactive in its recruitment approach and move towards a more sustainable long-term workforce model.

Get in touch with Remedium today

Contact us to see how we can support your trust to drive down recruitment spend and improve patient-centred care