In this article, we interview Remedium CEO, David Green, who tells us about Remedium’s journey from humble beginnings to placing thousands of permanent doctors across the NHS.
Tell us the Remedium story…
In 2013, Remedium was founded in a back-garden shed when we spotted a gap in the market for a medical recruitment business that focussed exclusively on permanent doctors. The temporary market was extremely lucrative for our competition so most were reluctant to go permanent, even for doctors who were running routine services. However, as grateful British citizens with a strong belief in the importance of our National Health Service, we felt that this market was ready to be disrupted. Since our humble beginnings, we are extremely proud that our permanent-only approach has not only reduced NHS staffing costs by £200 million but has also provided patients with a more consistent and efficient quality of care.
The journey since then has been very exciting. As we grew, we moved into King’s Cross and opened offices in Glasgow and Mumbai. We have also won multiple awards for our ground-breaking concept, including the 2021 Recruiter Award for Best Candidate Care. However, the last few years has had it’s challenges. Covid has presented lots of challenges for international doctors as they haven’t been able to get into the UK. Therefore, we had to pivot our business model and we are now also able to support UK-to-UK recruitment for consultant-level clinicians who are already working in this country. We’re also supporting our NHS clients to build and implement strategies that allow them to prepare adequately for the challenges that lay ahead.
What is Remedium’s mission?
Remedium’s mission is to solve the NHS staffing crisis, predominately by assisting trusts with hiring doctors but we’re also finding other areas that we can add value. We know that right now there are over 10,000 doctor vacancies. We appreciate the NHS will fill some of these themselves, but we are here to help when they need us.
We want to support the NHS in any way we can to ensure the long-term stability of the NHS workforce. That’s why, in addition to traditional permanent recruitment and executive search, we also offer tailored RPO, digital, and workforce consulting services through our Remedium Solutions brand.
Why is it so important to you to solve the NHS staffing crisis?
The NHS is heading towards an uncertain future. An aging UK population, coupled with an increasing disease burden means that the NHS is likely to face a future of ever-increasing demand for clinical staffing. If the NHS is to continue to exist in its current form, we must plan now to meet future workforce needs. At some point in the future, we are all going to need to use the service and that’s why we need to deliver first-class care. The only way to deliver first-class care is by having a full and thriving, first-class workforce. I’m extremely passionate about this. Every time I walk into a hospital, I’m always thinking ‘Are you well-staffed? Are you well-led? Is the care right?’
How has Covid affected international doctors and the hiring process?
With international borders closing overnight, it’s made an impact. What we found is that NHS Trusts became quite insular and wanted to hire doctors who had UK experience only. The problem with that is you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. It might help one Trust to fill their rota gaps, but then the other Trust down the road loses out and they end up with a doctor shortage. This doesn’t help our NHS staffing crisis. Now, as the world is getting used to living with Covid, doctors can travel across the world again without quarantining. Fortunately, we’re now seeing a lot more positivity when it comes to recruiting from overseas. During Covid, we pivoted domestically and looked into how we can solve the consultant crisis. This is the biggest problem as you need to solve the problem at the top first.
Why is it important that NHS Trusts consider international doctors and not just UK doctors?
We just don’t have enough doctors. There are always several ways to get more doctors into your workforce. Train more, recruit more, and retain more. Train more is a major issue. You can throw as much money at medical school as you want right now but it will take 5-10 years for that effect to trickle through. In the meantime, with the sheer number of vacancies that exist, it would be beneficial to look at partnering with experts like Remedium. We know the global market and have a global footprint, therefore we can help the doctor relocate to the UK and also help retain them. Doctor retention is a huge problem for the NHS at the moment, especially in light of the mental strain put on them by covid. Historically, the NHS particularly struggled with the retention of international doctors as they found it difficult to support them through the process of moving to a new country. So, we developed specific solutions to help clients address challenges, including Red Carpet, our digital solution which supports international healthcare professionals with the administrative and emotional strain of relocation, and our CPD-accredited communications course, which teaches newly-arrived clinicians from overseas how to practice in a British cultural context.
What inspires you?
The one thing that drives me more than anything, and I know this sounds corny, but seeing the company succeed. I get a buzz out of knowing that the team are learning and growing.
I’m inspired to make a change. Whenever I walk into an NHS hospital and see inefficiency – I feel frustrated but also excited as I know there’s an opportunity to change it.
I’m inspired to transform the NHS from a workforce point of view. I’m inspired to ensure that family, friends, and friends-of-friends are safe in the knowledge that if they ever need to use the NHS, then they will receive the best possible care from the most experienced and caring healthcare professionals. We are very lucky to have the largest publicly funded healthcare service in the world. If we need to call 999 then an ambulance will be there in your time of need. We’re extremely fortunate to have this and if we don’t tackle this staffing crisis now then our children and grandchildren may not have the same access to healthcare that we do.
How would you define success for Remedium?
When a client calls us sharing their incredible results and asking for more support. Despite the reputation of our industry, money just isn’t important to me. For me personally, success comes in being asked to be a thought leader in this space. If I’m asked to give my opinion on something – it’s an acknowledgment of the fact that we know what we’re talking about when it comes to the healthcare staffing crisis.
My advice to NHS Trusts across the UK is to stop waiting and to be proactive around recruitment. Every year our clients get the data and know that they’re going to have many gaps in their workforce if something isn’t done now. We can help both with your immediate gaps and to support you to future-proof your clinical workforce. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.