April 2013 saw the greatest shake up of the NHS since its formation in 1948. Under the Conservative Government all Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) were abolished and replaced with two new types of organisations: Commissioning Support Units (CSUs) and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs).
The outgoing PCTs had been in operation for just over 10 years and were responsible for all the funding and commissioning of services throughout the NHS in England. The new CCGs have now taken over this role, effectively providing all the funding to GP led organisations.
Further upheaval has been evident during the last 12 months with the CSUs being put in "competition" with one another in respect to the support services they supply to the CCGs. A number of CSUs have already closed and more are currently in merger discussions leading to redundancies and early retirement of many experienced NHS staff. A recent report in E-HealthInsider highlights redundancies within 14 of the 18 CSUs over the next 6 months, despite the organisations being just over 12 months old.
Despite all of this upheaval, the modernisation of the National Health Service’s infrastructure and services continues at a great pace. In addition, we are seeing increased “commercialisation” of many services, which are now provided by private companies.
These dramatic changes have increased the need for more people of different backgrounds within all the Non-Medical and Non-Clinical sectors which support the NHS. The Royal College of Nursing recently warned that patient care is being put at risk because the NHS has lost close to 4,000 senior nurses since 2010, but the support roles away from direct patient care are equally important. These supporting positions are essential to the overall performance and efficiency of the NHS and they cover the following 18 areas:
Admin & Clerical, Senior Management, Medical Secretaries, Legal Services, Library Services, Clinical Coding, Finance, IT, Project Management, HR, PR & Communications, Procurement, Estates, Hotel Services, Catering, Drivers, Stores and Security.
The substantial amount of activity caused by this reorganisation has reached online Job Boards. While the Job Board market is very large, it is dominated by huge “generalist” websites such as Jobsite, Monster and Total Jobs. Specialist recruiters all advertise on these boards, but there is widespread duplication resulting in confusion for candidates and unnecessary costs produced by advertising the same job on several boards.