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    Why Work in the Private Healthcare Sector?

    As a recruiter working within the UK Healthcare market, I speak to a number of candidates each day wishing to make the move from the NHS to the private sector. Many of the people I speak to have been wanting to transfer to a private hospital for years, but lack of information has prevented them from taking that step. If you are a healthcare professional looking to make the change from NHS to private, this blog is for you!

    The Facts

    Alongside the NHS, we have a buoyant private healthcare sector. Over the decades, as more private facilities were built, they established themselves internationally as centres of excellence and efficiency. This has produced exponential growth in the market, which has gone from having 33,000 customers in the UK alone in 1947, to over 22,000,000 customers worldwide in 2014.

    Following on from this, reports from Thomas Reuters show that figures within private healthcare continue to rise, growing 3.9% in 2012, 1.4% in 2013 and are predicted to grow a further 3.3% from 2016 – 2018, despite worldwide financial constraints. According to Laing Buisson, in 2011 the UK private acute medical sector, including private NHS patients, generated £6.42 billion. Over the years, I have also seen an upsurge in the number of roles within private facilities due to department expansion and patient increase. In turn, this has made the recruitment of candidates progressively more competitive.

    Who’s Covered?

    The private healthcare sector is dominated by a number of large organisations with multiple facilities across the UK such as BMI, HCA International and Spire.

    Many private hospitals cover a number of acute specialities such as: Accident and Emergency, Intensive Care, Coronary Care, Cardiology, Neonatal Intensive Care as well other general Surgical and Medical treatments. In addition to this, the larger hospitals and healthcare groups will cover roles from Consultants and GPs, to Biomedical Scientists, Dietitians, Occupational Therapists, ODP’s, Physiotherapists and Radiographers.

    The NHS has in many circumstances worked with private healthcare providers in order to outsource certain procedures. According to a report written by The Health Foundation, between 2009 – 2010 and 2013 – 2014, NHS spending increased by 6.2% a year due to the secondment of services from private facilities such as: Imaging, specialist procedures, Paediatrics, Outpatients Clinics and Pharmacy to name a few. A report generated by Kings Fund “Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England – The UK private health market” states that the British Medical Association estimated that 28,000 consultants and specialities have intersected within the public and private sectors, although the number still remains low for consultants who exclusively work in the private arena.

    Why Go Private?

    For healthcare professionals interested in the private sector, making the move can seem like a daunting task. Many worry about the size of the facilities they will be going to, how many patients they will see in a day, or if a role in a smaller facility will provide enough of a challenge. When speaking to candidates I am always sure to emphasise that a number of private hospitals in London have a bed capacity of up to 260 patients. Although this is nowhere near the capacity that some NHS hospitals can hold, it is by no means a small amount! In the past, applicants transferring from the public to private fields have been pleasantly surprised at the size of the hospital and the broad spectrum of specialities they cater for.

    In recent months, a candidate of mine had applied for two separate roles with two different clients: Senior Radiographer and Junior MRI. The Senior Radiographer position offered a higher salary, but the Junior MRI role included training within that speciality.  This candidate eventually opted for the Junior MRI role, as the prospect of advanced training offered an attractive opportunity for professional advancement.

    Over the last few years, increasing amounts of healthcare professionals have been transferring to the private sector. Some of their motivations for moving have been:

    • Being able to afford greater time with each patient, providing them with more care and support.
    • The opportunity to work with the most innovative and state of the art equipment and treatment methods.
    • More attractive salaries and additional benefits.
    • Pension schemes
    • An increased work-life balance.
    • The option to pursue additional training.

    Cavendish Professionals has created and generated strong working relationships with many large acute private hospitals in the UK; assisting with recruitment across all areas from Allied Health and Acute Nursing to Management and Business. Should you be interested in working within the private sphere or if you are keen to find out more about how the sector works, feel free to call us on 020 3008 5212 or email us at healthcare@cavendishprofessionals.com.