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The ad-hoc market is unique. NHS Trusts nationwide now rely heavily on recruitment agencies to provide Mental Healthcare Assistants as well as Registered Mental Health Nurses with a very short lead time. This could be direct from a Trust’s specific staffing office or through an online booking system; however the need is great.

As an agency, our responsibility is to provide agency staff who are correctly trained, vaccinated and above all else reliable. There are several key areas that can help make us as efficient as possible. We need to get our candidate’s availability as far ahead as possible, making it far easier to book them in should work become available that they are able to fulfill. We also have a responsibility to manage their expectations when it comes to work that is available. In the ad-hoc market, it is possible for an individual contractor to surpass the ‘normal’ 37.5 hours meaning it is far more profitable for them to work unsociable hours. As a consultant, we need to find the balance between satisfying the Trust’s requirements for safe staffing levels as well as our candidate’s ability to work long hours.

A regular day normally consists of:

• Constantly checking Trust contact - whether this is shifts that are released online to us or via email - so we can book staff in
• Getting and maintaining our candidate’s availability
• Booking staff in all the time, days and weeks in advance
• Liaising with various wards and hospitals to make sure that staff are fulfilling their duties
• Constantly contacting new candidates and getting them ready for work - obtaining all documents as well as vaccination records
• Contacting new NHS Trusts to gain extra work

Our ultimate aim is to provide an exceptional level of service, whilst supplying quality agency staff who are able to effectively complete all tasks that are required of them. Professional relationships are the most important thing in this market as it could be the difference between being the top agency that the NHS come to or falling short of our own high levels of expectations.

If you are a Mental Healthcare Assistant or a Registered Mental Health Nurse looking for work across the Midlands or in the South East of England, please contact me immediately on 01772 208963 / daniel.searle@servicecare.org.uk to discuss the positions further. 
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