The UK has been experiencing shortages in the healthcare workforce for a number of years, even before COVID-19 took hold. Reasons include a growing aging population, under-investment and burnout.
In the UK, the additional shock of Brexit has meant that many Europeans who worked in the National Health Service (NHS) have left. For people looking to enter the UK job market from outside the EU, the rules are now harder, with the new points-based system.
According to the King’s Fund, Nuffield Trust and Health Foundation, the NHS will be short of 350,000 staff by 2030 if staffing shortages continue, and reports from the British Medical Association state that thousands of overworked doctors plan to leave the NHS in the coming years.
For some, the solution is to recruit internationally. "The number of domestic nurses simply isn’t high enough to remedy the number of vacancies currently within the NHS" says Alejandro Coca, co-head at TrueProfile.io, an online career hub for healthcare professionals.
"On the other side of the equation there are a number of countries that have the opposite issue - countries such as the Philippines have developed an entire industry providing excellent university programmes to train nurses solely for the purpose of seeking employment overseas. They cannot accommodate the number of qualified healthcare workers with attractive domestic job opportunities."
Healthcare professionals are one of the biggest exports of the Philippines, and it is the third most common nationality of staff working in the NHS. Colin Pettifer is the founder and owner of Britannia Healthcare and Sharp BH Global Manpower, a UK healthcare recruitment consultancy and Philippine recruitment agency respectively.
The two agencies recently formed a partnership with TrueProfile.io, to combine TrueProfile.io's technology with the brand and presence of the former companies.
"We assist qualified healthcare staff to prepare for employment and life overseas in terms of communicating and navigating often complex regulatory requirements" Pettifer explains. "One part of the regulatory requirements that needs to be completed ahead of time is the verification of an individual’s credentials such as their degree certificate, their license from their home country, work experience and good standing certificate."
"That’s where TrueProfile.io comes in" Coca says. "We carry out the verifications to the highest level using primary source verification (PSV). These verifications are then stored on the blockchain, which means they are completely secure and cannot be tampered with.
"Job seekers can share these verifications directly with employers, recruiters and regulators who can be completely assured of their authenticity - we currently have around 950,000 members. Via TrueProfile.io Jobs, we have the ability to promote vacancies to our community and make them aware of opportunities with trusted, quality healthcare recruiters like Britannia Healthcare."
Once verified, a digital fingerprint of the documents is stored on the blockchain which makes them highly secure. Aside from this, Coca says it gives the individual complete ownership of the information. "It is completely owned and controlled by the individual - meaning they can use the verifications for the lifetime of their career. This removes the over and over again issue within recruitment and removes the need for verification with every job change. Having these verifications done ahead of time and being able to share them securely with the employer significantly reduces time-to-hire within the recruitment process."
"Healthcare is one of the highest risk industries when it comes to hiring the right people" Coca adds. "For every employee, a huge amount of personal information needs to be stored about that individual in order to ensure that their identity, qualifications and work experience is legitimate.
"Removing the need to verify every applicant - even if this is an experience or reference check - by having the verified data stored on blockchain eliminates this requirement with every new hire, streamlining the process and cutting down lengthy recruitment processes."
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