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HCL Thames Medics says more locum doctors could help address European Working Time Directive shortage
Date:4/23/2010

The leading medical recruitment agency urges increased use of flexible staffing to alleviate pressure on hospitals caused by shorter working hours for junior doctors.

London (PRWeb UK) April 23, 2010 -- HCL Thames Medics, the National Framework agency for recruitment of doctors to the NHS, and part of HCL plc, said today that greater use of flexible and locum doctors is vital for dealing with the pressures on frontline staffing brought about by new EU rules, which put a cap on junior doctors’ working hours.

HCL Thames Medics was responding to research by the Royal College of Physicians which said that some hospital doctors now have to care for up to 400 patients at night because of the impact of the European Working Time Directive, which cut junior doctors’ working hours to 48 per week. This has had a dramatic impact on staffing levels in hospital wards.

The solution for Medical Staffing Officers is to increase the proportion of locum doctors in their frontline staff, thus creating a flexible workforce which could be staffed up and down quickly to meet fluctuating demand, the Company said.

Kirsten Simcoe, Managing Director of HCL Thames Medics, said that this would be more cost effective than increasing permanent recruitment of doctors as locums are only paid for the hours that they work so would not incur added hidden costs such as holiday and pension entitlement.

Simcoe explained: “With
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