Admin staff

The NHS should improve the skills of administrative staff to reduce waiting lists

Consultants are expected to work from home, administrative staff honed and school leavers recruited into a ‘new workforce model’ aimed at reducing NHS waiting times.

Professor Sir Mike Richards, the new chairman of the National Screening Committee, an independent body that makes screening recommendations to health officials, has proposed sweeping changes.

These include allowing non-clinical staff to receive training for jobs such as the use of scanners in cancer diagnostic centers, freeing up time for doctors and enabling them to monitor patients online .

Professor Richards, former chief inspector of hospitals at the Care Quality Commission, told The Times that staff changes “at all levels” could reduce the backlog of more than 1.6 million people waiting for tests. diagnostic.

“It’s about using all the levers rather than just saying it can’t be done…it can be done, but it will be hard work.”

He added that the NHS needs to recruit more school leavers into a new workforce model.

“We could get people in at starting rates – school leavers who would otherwise be stacking shelves or at supermarket checkouts,” he said. “We need to make sure people see that healthcare is a very rewarding field.

“We welcome apprentices, it’s a new career path. You can learn it on the job, get paid on the job, and then work your way up. We can do a lot by bringing in support workers to free up radiographers, for example.

He said hospital trusts could retain some of the doctors close to retirement by providing more flexibility.

“One of the ways we can retain staff is to allow them to report from home on [x-rays and scans] so they work from home,” Richards told The Times.

The Department of Health and Social Care said there were record numbers of doctors, nurses and healthcare staff and NHS England had recently been tasked with developing a workforce strategy to long term.

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