NHS tackles negativity around recruitment body

The NHS is creating special response units to build better media understanding of medical recruitment agency NHS Professionals.

The units are to be part of a nationwide campaign to raise the profile of the health agency and turn around negativity in the media about its role.

‘We will create an influence database of prime commentators who can offer proper sentiments about the role of NHS Professionals,’ said Ron Hepburn, managing partner at Haggie Hepburn, which has been called in to handle the units.

The agency was appointed in May after a competitive pitch for campaign leadership and a strategic marcoms programme. Hepburn will lead a team of four, reporting to NHS Professionals marketing director Chris Day.

NHS Professionals manages and provides temporary staff to NHS Trust hospitals. Officially launched in April, the authority has been running as a pilot scheme in several regions. It has a government mandate to improve the way the NHS hires its temporary staff.

With already 40,000 workers on its books, NHS Professionals is seeking to expand and become the recruitment agency of choice. Its aim is to improve recruitment efficiency and create a cohesive, user-friendly service.

However, its creation has drawn criticism in the business press. Other recruitment agencies say NHS Professionals is bad for business as it effectively poaches clients.

‘It is negative stories with a bad understanding of the authority that we aim to correct,’ said Hepburn.

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