10 Jun 2024
by Tania Bowers

APSCo responds to Liberal Democrat’s Manifesto

Responding to the Liberal Democratic Manifesto launched today, Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) commented:

“The additional budget pledged to help fix the NHS and address the social care crisis is promising, but it doesn’t solve the core crux of the issue; namely the lack of skilled workers in the country. The Liberal Democrats have committed to recruit more GPs, but the devil is in the detail and from what we’ve heard so far, it’s not entirely clear where these individuals will come from.

“We expect more details to be published imminently which we will be scrutinising closely. However, based on our experience supporting members recruiting into clinical healthcare, APSCo is familiar with the workforce and hiring challenges in the NHS and the social care sector. Addressing the immediate challenges will require more than a financial investment or an uptick in training, the results of which will take time to see.

“As APSCo highlighted in its own Manifesto earlier this year, there are ways to create a more sustainable workforce in the national healthcare service, including cultivating a better partnership between NHS employers, recruitment companies and framework organisations to deliver the NHS long-term workforce plan. Crucially, this partnership must recognise that contract and temporary workers play a core role in managing peaks and troughs in demand and in delivering projects and change implementation. In order to effectively cultivate this, a reform of hiring practices for temporary staff, including reducing so-called “off framework” placements across primary care and within Trusts, is required.

“We have long argued that there is a need in the NHS to enhance compliance, reduce red tape and raise safeguarding standards through tactics such as standardising compliance requirements across providers to achieve one set of rules and one set of audit standards, which could potentially be extended into social care.”