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Healthcare in the North East Today – 2017 in Review


Nov 6, 2017 #health

The job market in the North East of England offers professionals from a wide range of sectors a world of opportunity, most especially in Engineering and Manufacturing. However, another sector which is equally open to those seeking employment is healthcare. With approximately three million people in the area, and statistics revealing Northerners 20% more likely to die before their Southern neighbours, it goes without saying that this work is highly important and a key factor for those looking to come from abroad for work. However, data shows migrant workers, a large proportion from Eastern Europe, first move to other areas of England before coming to the North East, and it is for the most part those who have come from Poland who seek healthcare roles.

More Jobs, Fewer Candidates

Nonetheless, outside of Northumbria, NHS positions were not fulfilled to their full potential in the North East in 2017, with one in fifty-five positions remaining empty as of March. However, with there being more jobs on offer within the healthcare sector than the year before, the time is ripe for the taking even though the statistics show this isn’t happening. Main culprit factors include serious pay concerns and the post-Brexit air of uncertainty for those who have come seeking work from abroad. Although training is hard to find, what can help to bridge the gap is for migrant workers to ensure their level of speaking and comprehension of the English language is as good as it can be. To this end, they can enrol on business English courses. Undertaking such study will assist immeasurably when continuing professional development courses do become available, let alone when positions open which require near-native fluency in the language.

Healthcare Developments

Indeed, it goes without saying that healthcare education is crucial and therefore organisations such as Health Education England (HEE) exist to ensure ongoing training is made available to NHS staff throughout the North East, and not just to new starters. With the NHS turning seventy next year, this dedication to offer training for personal and career development has never been so poignant; the staff remain able to work safely, legally and effectively, using the latest technologies.

Funding Issues

The funding of the NHS is much debated, and the cuts it has received even more so. Given the government’s recent decision to cut spending on NHS mental health services, it can only be hoped this proposal is reversed, in no small part because of recent reports highlighting a third of sick leave is due to mental health issues. Health issues are often not limited to one symptom or disease, and patients often require the help from many different departments and services. The knock-on effect of the cuts substantially affects communities, not just individuals. Nonetheless, it is a reality that the NHS is financially stretched, not least due to an ageing and increased population and services having to branch ever wider. Making sure migrant workers are appropriately trained to fill ever newer and more precise roles is crucial, even amid the overspending of relevant trusts.

By Emily