Locum’s Nest, an online medical staffing company, is to give the NHS free access to its app in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The platform, which directly connects clinicians to temporary work, will offer free use of its shift-matching software to support efforts to recruit NHS clinicians, as part of the NHS’ covid-19 response.

The technology allows healthcare organisations to immediately reach out to 25,000 clinicians to help fill short term vacancies, currently being listed by the thousands each day, as staffing issues grow across the NHS.

The move has been announced to help the healthcare system cope with the anticipated staffing shortages and financial pressures caused by the outbreak.

Highly qualified, skilled, local and available clinicians who may otherwise have to manually submit forms and qualifications, will now be able to access all shifts listed on the app and get to work within hours. 

Locum’s Nest has confirmed that healthcare organisations who are already using its service will not see any excess charges applied during an increased time of usage.

It also said software deployment may need to be prioritised depending on the most urgent needs across the country, this will be assessed on a case by case, day by day basis.

Nick Andreou, co-founder of Locum’s Nest and former NHS junior doctor, said; “Now is the time to wholeheartedly intensify our efforts in order to support the national fight against the infection.”

He added: “We have to remember that NHS staff are also human beings with relatives who also need as much support as possible. Our aim is to help healthcare organisations minimise the impact of covid-19 by allowing them to rapidly and remotely deploy the software within just ten days, giving them full access to staff, free of charge.”

Stephen Kelly, board director for Locum’s Nest, commented, “The NHS is run by amazing, committed, kind, selfless people at every level, but extraordinary events like this put our incredible health professionals under enormous pressure. Locum’s Nest can help to make sure vacant shifts are filled quickly, easily and efficiently with our leading platform – we are humbled to help our NHS manage this very human and economic crisis.”

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, said: "There is unprecedented pressure on the NHS and wherever possible we need to make sure there are the right staff and resources in place to do that. Teams are working flat out to provide high quality care, but the challenges are huge. It is fantastic that Locum’s Nest is providing its product free of charge to trusts so that temporary staff can fill shifts where they are most urgently needed and those who have left the NHS can be helped to come back to work.”

Date published: March 20, 2020

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