Approximately 1.5 million people are employed by the NHS making it one of the top five largest workforces in the world.

According to the ADASS (Association of Directors of Adult Social Services) 1.34m people were working in adult social care last year but staff turnover is on the increase rising almost 5% in the four years to 2017. Combine this with the UK's ageing population and it becomes clear recruitment and retention should be a key focus for health and social care leaders nationwide.

Below Randstad takes a look at what’s in store for recruitment and the workforces of both health and social care.

Securing a future NHS workforce.

Research released by Deloitte UK Centre for Health Solutions explores the current state of hospital workforces across Europe and their key challenges. Based on interviews with more than 50 senior stakeholders and 1,350 doctors and nurses it found that the current workforce is feeling pressure from three fronts: heavy workloads, poor work-life balance and declining morale.

Deloitte’s recommendations for addressing today’s challenges were as follows:

  • share responsibility for workforce planning, education and training
  • ensure staff wellbeing
  • develop strong leadership to create a culture of collaboration and transparency
  • recruit and retain hospital staff
  • manage the workforce effectively, including rostering and use of temporary staffing

On securing the hospital workforce of the future, Deloitte recommend implementing digital solutions and leveraging new technologies for front line delivery of care as well as adopting new training models to upskill health professionals, increasing enriched and augmented roles and adopting new models of care. 

What will adult social care recruitment be like?

Recent figures show a healthy appetite for training in adult social care with more apprenticeships in adult social care than on any other programme. Commenting on the rise, Damian Burdin, chief executive at Progress to Excellence Ltd, told FE News: 'I am delighted with these figures showing that more social care professionals are choosing the apprenticeship route as a way of training.

'There are currently around 90,000 job vacancies in the UK health and social care sector - and that figure is set to rise, meaning a flexible and affordable training solution is needed, and that is just what we offer.' With awareness of apprenticeships rising, you may well find that your organisation can benefit from having individuals earning while learning such as apprentices. 

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt recently told the British Association of Social Workersof seven principles the government will focus on to progress an upcoming green paper on reform of social care for older adults will be based on. His fourth principle related to workers when he said the department for health was ‘pledging a drive to promote social care careers and pathways into nursing and committing to a new, fully aligned, 10-year NHS and social care workforce’. 

Will Brexit play a part?

Uncertainty is in the air as the nation waits to hear exactly what Brexit will mean and how it will impact workforces at our hospitals, care homes as well as all other industries.

One of the ways to remedy the Brexit uncertainty is long-term planning and strategy was one of the aspects that the select committee on the long-term sustainability of the NHS was concerned with as flagged in their publication last year. It recommended the government outline its strategy for ensuring that a greater proportion of the health and social care workforce comes from the domestic labour market and suggested the current workforce strategy had been poor with too much reliance on overseas recruitment. Overall it is clear that the health and social care workforce strategies need to be aligned in order to be effective and a focus on long-term planning will help us to achieve this.

If you are looking at your long-term recruitment needs and want to plan ahead, get in touch with your local health and social care team of recruitment specialists to see how we can assist.