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CORONAVIRUS: Care Minister calls on agencies to work in public interest

Matt-Hancock-Helen-Whately

Recruitment agencies have been urged work with social care in the public interest during the coronavirus outbreak.  

In a letter to the agencies, Care Minister Helen Whately (pictured left with Health & Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock) urged them to work in a “collegiate way” with health and social care providers.

The minister said: “While, under normal circumstances, a rise in demand would likely result in a rise in prices for staff, we are encouraging trusts to work in a collegiate way so as not to create excessive competition or negatively impact the ability of the system as a whole to maintain safe staffing levels. I hope that you will cooperate in making this possible, working in partnership with NHS and social care providers at local levels.”

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Ms Whately called on agencies to work with NHS and social care providers in the public interests and ensure that staff were “placed efficiently” and were “fully compliant and proportionately remunerated”.

The minister highlighted several key areas of “heightened concern” for the NHS and social care providers during the outbreak, including keeping workers aware of coronavirus guidance provided by NHS England and ensuring they follow government guidance with regard to self-isolating. Agencies were also reminded of their responsibility to pay statutory sick pay.

Responding to the Minister’s letter, Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library, said: “These are truly challenging times and the health and social care industry is feeling the effects. Fortunately, the UK recruitment industry can be a part of the solution by helping the NHS to recruit the front line staff our country desperately needs right now. The letter sent out by the Care Minister earlier this week highlights some key concerns, whilst also outlining how agencies can do their due diligence. So long as recruiters follow this guidance, our industry can continue to support and help to ensure high quality patient care during this period of uncertainty.”

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The author Lee Peart

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