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NHS 'Special Measures' and the interim solution

It is undoubtedly a time of measurement within the NHS. With an increasing number of Trusts being put into special measures, there are rising concerns about demand from internal NHS Staff recruiters - particularly around their ability to contract the quality interim support they need to deliver safe patient care.

NHS interim image

Recently, one desperate Trust shared their concerns about maintaining patient safety without the immediately qualified interims they require to “plug the gap” whilst they try to fill substantive roles within their workforce.

These concerns being echoed on a regular basis by those tasked with bringing in the staff, who no longer feel they can deliver what’s required due to lack of interim internal support - which is currently being curtailed as a result of the special measures being imposed. 

When I entered the Healthcare recruitment sector some years ago, my goal was to assist the NHS with their immediate interim health demand so they could support patients nationally. This support could be supplied within just a few hours by our strong network of available interims who were happy to step in and hold the reins where there was an urgent demand. The decision to recruit was made by the department manager, HR Team or Board. 

This is simply not the case anymore, and agency price caps can cut off access to the experienced   senior-level interims they would normally engage. We’ve had to recalibrate interim expectations on day rate and transform our own offering in line with the market shift.

Here at Interim Partners, we measure the success of all our interims. Our Return on Interim methodology is unique and we monitor the results each interim achieves. Our interims are focused, hardworking and committed to high standards of patient care.

With A & E figures looking bleak even before we enter the Winter period, how will patient care prevail and how will the performance figures look? 

Being passionate about the Healthcare sector, the work our interims do and the success they achieve, what do you think the future holds? Do we expect our interims to move sectors, take permanent roles or fixed contracts, or work abroad?

Many of our interims commence work within 24 hours of us taking a brief from a client for an unexpected requirement of sickness, operational issues or demand management. Where would our Healthcare sector be without this back up and the reliance on those who allow our hospitals to continue with safe quality patient care? How can we measure that outcome?


I would be interested to hear reader’s comments.


Denise Raw is the Principal of Public Sector.

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