The shortage of UK healthcare jobs doesn’t seem to get any less attention as years go by. It appears every year there is a shortage of nurses and doctors which can’t be plugged. There are a multitude of reasons for the healthcare scarcity in the UK, ranging from not having enough trainees to meet all the new posts that now exist, to the baby boomers now reaching senior citizen status. Healthcare comprises many areas and it’s important to know which occupations in particular are not being met. This information is especially valuable for graduates entering medicine who are unsure what to specialise in and also to recruiters and recruitment agencies.
So where are the real issues?
Emergency medicine - This may seem like too obvious an area to be considered however, it needs to be addressed as the demand is almost never met. In 2015/16 the NHS struggled to meet the four-hour standard waiting time for Accident and Emergency, failing it every month except one, July, when the target was only barely met. This clearly indicates that there is not nearly enough emergency staff to meet the need. The emergency staff in demand include both doctors and nurses across all grades (consultant to non-training).
General practitioners - Just as there always seems to be a shortage of emergency medicine staff; it seems the same applies to GPs in the UK. With less than a third of UK medical graduates selecting general practice specialist training as their first choice in order to take up a more “exciting” specialty; too few GPs are entering at the bottom as the rate of retirement at the top is increasing. The RCGP states “the number of patients who are finding it difficult to make a GP appointment has increased due to a lack of sufficient resourcing for general practice and rapidly growing demand, brought about by the ageing population and more patients being treated for long-term and complex conditions.”
Radiology – In early 2015 Radiologists were added to the national Shortage Occupation List (SOL). This is definitely a move in the right direction as there just aren’t sufficient training doctors to fill all the radiology vacancies. The average vacancy percentage for skilled radiologists across the U.K. currently runs at 16%, meaning one in six consultant posts are unfilled. The greatest number of vacancies are recorded in the Midlands, North of England, Scotland, and West Wales, according to RCR Faculty of Clinical Radiology. Giles Maskell, the president of The Royal College of Radiologists, welcomed the news that clinical radiology was on the shortage occupation list. “The very severe shortage of radiologists in the UK means that, at a time of acute pressure on medical imaging services, there are too many vacant consultant radiologist posts.”
The British government is in the process of trying to develop initiatives to increase the number of healthcare professions. However, there is still a long way to go before any of them start producing a return, while the effect of shortages is having an impact right now. There’s also the looming decision of Brexit, which if followed through would no doubt have a direct effect on the number of healthcare professionals available to fill those difficult roles.
If your agency is having difficulty meeting the demand for skilled healthcare professionals, then international recruiting may be a practical solution. For more information, you can request a callback or email us on email@example.com
If you are working as one of these professions in India and are interested to take your experience abroad to the UK, please email Bhargav.firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.