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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

Health and social care

Sector groups bring together recruiters with a common interest to lobby, champion best practice, and share knowledge.

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Get the latest information affecting recruiters in health care, social care and social work, and meet other REC members in these sectors.

The sector group provides a forum to discuss public policy, market conditions, regulatory matters and wider issues in the health and social care arena. The group is committed to working with the NHS and DHSC to help deliver safe and effective care to patients, as well as addressing the resourcing challenges in areas like social care, domiciliary care and social work.

We actively campaign and lobby on behalf of members, and are taking forward the following priorities:

  •  Calling for a level playing field for all suppliers of health and social care staff to the NHS, and a market that is favourable to SMEs.
  • Pushing for data on the true costs of operating NHS banks, and whether they are in fact a cost-effective solution.
  • For caps and controls to be applied to NHS banks, in the same way that they are applied to NHS agency frameworks.
  • Highlighting and promoting the expertise of specialist recruitment agencies in supporting the NHS, in driving compliance standards and in improving patient safety.

Read the REC Health and social care manifesto (PDF)

Benefits of joining

  • Our membership includes over 450 recruitment agencies who supply clinical and non-clinical health and social care professionals to the NHS, as well as to local authorities.
  • Lobbying and campaign activities that help your business, clients and candidates.
  • Our diverse membership includes the NHS’s ten biggest staffing suppliers as well as hundreds of SMEs; what unites them is their commitment to robust compliance standards (as required through REC membership), and their dedication to providing 24/7 staffing solutions to the NHS and the wider sector.
  • Stay informed on the latest issues affecting the sector
  • Stay informed and prepare for upcoming legislation changes

A new £250m Winter Access Fund to help GPs in England with patient support

The Department for Health and Social Care and NHS England and Improvement (NHSE&I) have published ‘Our plan for improving access for patients and supporting general practice’, setting out the measures around how the funding will be spent to increase patient accessibility while exploring balanced hybrid access models.

 While the decision makers of the usage of the fund are the local health systems, the fund is designed to deliver two main aspects 1) improved access to urgent, same day primary care by increasing capacity and GP appointment numbers achieved at practice or PCN level, or in combination and 2) increased resilience of the NHS urgent care system during winter, by expanding same day urgent care capacity, through other services in any primary and community settings.

The document published last week also highlights that NHSE&I is working to increase the number of GPs to 6,000 – in line with the Government’s manifesto commitment. Additionally, NHSE&I is required to achieve a target of 15,500 new primary care professionals by March 2022 which will provide additional support GPs.

 Key messages from the Winter Access Fund have been set out below:

  • Additional capacity funding for system for more prompt access to appointment
  • Expanding numbers of GPs and other primary care professionals
  • Moving to cloud-based practice telephony to increase the capacity for digital communications channels
  • Making best use of community pharmacy to alleviate pressure on GP appointments and harness the skills of community pharmacists
  • Practice-level review of levels of face-to-face care to review the right balance for patients between remote and face-to-face consultations
  • A system to evaluate patient satisfaction to be rolled out as early as April 2022

For more information, please read the official document.

Guidances on mandatory vaccine for care home workers in England

From 11 November 2021 and following a 16-week grace period, anyone entering a CQC-registered care home in England must be fully vaccinated or prove that they are exempt. The new requirement will apply to care home staff, agency workers, contractors and volunteers. Please see guidance published by the Department of Health & Social Care for details.

Acas, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, has also published a useful guidance outlining who is required to be fully vaccinated and how employers should plan and discuss the new requirement with staff and contractors, which can be found here.

Government announces an increase in national insurance contribution 

The Government has today 7th September 2021 announced an 1.25% increase in national insurance contributions,– called ‘social care levy’- which is set to generate £12bn annually. The levy aims to increase the NHS capacity to 110% with contributions from both employees and employers. The short-term aim of the levy is to help the NHS clear the backlog of elective care and tackle the waitlist for the next three years while the long-term goal is to “protect individuals and families against unpredictable and potentially catastrophic care costs”. Subject to the vote in Parliament on 8 September, the levy is set to begin in April 2022 and people entering into care from October 2023 will have access to the new measures. The Government claims the tax rise is a ‘fair contribution’ where every individual and business will contribute according to their means, pledging to protect small businesses. The Government has published a full document on their plan for health and social care which can be found here. For the REC’s initial thoughts please click here.

Join the Health and Social Care sector group

If you’re interested in joining the REC Health and Social Care sector group, contact your REC account manager at or 020 7009 2100