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How Long Does It Take The NHS To Respond To Candidates?

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The short answer will likely come as no surprise to UK residents. The process takes far too long, and the NHS's response times are part of a more significant problem with candidate recruitment. 

It isn't unusual for the process, which should take a matter of weeks, to stretch into months. 

One reason for the delay is that the NHS is short-staffed across the entire organisation, which includes recruitment and credentialing teams. 

Another factor is the NHS's continued over-reliance on paperwork, yes! Actual paper. 690,000 miles of paper are used by the NHS yearly. For context, that’s almost double the distance from planet Earth to the moon!

Why Is the NHS Recruitment Process Slow?

The premise is that the NHS is continuously asked to perform under extreme pressure. The recent pandemic only exasperated the problem, but recruitment times have increased over the last decade.

The NHS's recruitment practices and processes have been likened to a moonwalking turtle. It's a culmination of strained resources, out-of-date processes, and more stringent requirements burdening the process.

Patient safety drives many of the regulations. The NHS, like other UK healthcare organisations, is obligated to maintain regulatory compliance with the CQC.

Our credentialing platform is a turnkey system that allows recruitment and credentialing teams to manage client communication and credentialing. We've worked with the NHS and other healthcare organisations, so we've firsthand experience of the recruitment process.

One of the compounding issues we've seen is the timeframes used, within the NHS, for initial application and interview. Clinical candidates can wait months to find out if they've met the minimum criteria to make the interview stage. Candidates are often no longer available when the decision has been made to invite them for an interview.

‍How Long Does The NHS Credentialing Process Take?

Clinical candidates who make it through the initial application process now have to navigate the credentialing stage of the recruitment process before they are invited to interview.

Applicants are put through the following checks:

As many of these checks are done manually and tracked using an array of spreadsheets, it becomes quickly apparent why the process often gets bottlenecked. 

It often takes recruiters several weeks, more commonly months, to carry out all these checks and complete the shortlisting process. 

How many doctors do you think are being burnt out while these checks are being carried out? How many patients are not getting the care they need because the NHS isn't adequately staffed? Which fuels the debate around patient safety. 

The premise is that the NHS is continuously asked to perform under extreme pressure. The recent pandemic only exasperated the problem, but recruitment times have increased over the last decade.

The NHS's recruitment practices and processes have been likened to a moonwalking turtle. It's a culmination of strained resources, out-of-date processes, and more stringent requirements burdening the process.

Patient safety drives many of the regulations. The NHS, like other UK healthcare organisations, is obligated to maintain regulatory compliance with the CQC.

Our credentialing platform is a turnkey system that allows recruitment and credentialing teams to manage client communication and credentialing. We've worked with the NHS and other healthcare organisations, so we've firsthand experience of the recruitment process.

One of the compounding issues we've seen is the timeframes used, within the NHS, for initial application and interview. Clinical candidates can wait months to find out if they've met the minimum criteria to make the interview stage. Candidates are often no longer available when the decision has been made to invite them for an interview.

How can you automate compliance?
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Learn how Dr Fertility have made their compliance process simple in preparation for their CQC inspection and the ability to evidence compliance quickly for inspectors.

Find out how Urgent Care provider HUC has drastically reduced time to hire down to as little as three days by automating credentialing and onboarding processes.

3 Reasons Providers Fail CQC Inspections

1
“No system to ensure all staff have full pre-employment checks completed”
2
“Failure to deploy adequate numbers of suitably qualified staff”
3
“No system in place to review and communicate role-specific training or policies to staff”

Are you CQC ready?

Yes
No
1. Do you think there is there a link between staffing and the ability to deliver safe, effective services?
2. Do you have any digital tools, such as online staff management, that can help get the right people on duty at the right time?
3. Can you automate key aspects of employee onboarding to ensure the right mix of skills is available within your teams?
4. Can you evidence documents, DBS checks, right to work checks, certifications, training records, policies and reporting for CQC inspectors?
5. Is all your documentation regularly kept up to date?
6. Do your staff understand their responsibilities and how well can they link their work back to current guidelines and best practices?
7. Can you evidence that policies are communicated to staff and they are read and understood?
8. Do you have a digital document management system in place to ‘send and sign’ new or amended policies or documents to staff?
9. Do you record staff training and development that you can show CQC inspectors?
10. Can you provide clear evidence of how you are developing and improving your services?

Take Action

More than 5 no's?
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Between 3-5 no's?
If you answered a mix of 'yes' and 'no' then you need to improve compliance in time for your CQC inspection.
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Less than 2 no's?
It sounds like you’ve got a grip on things, but did you know you can automate compliance and credentialing to further improve processes and impress CQC?
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