Get to know the Litmus Team: Q&A with Andrew Turner
Your career in 10 words?
12 years’ healthcare staffing experience, Managed Service focused, love the NHS. Is that 11?
What was your first job?
American Express, answering card activation calls in English and occasionally German too.
I was excited to come back to work within Medacs Global Group, having driven the inception of Medacs’ first ever onsite managed service back in 2011. I was drawn to their market-leading position globally built on 30 years in the healthcare market, and the ability to support clients across the workforce agenda – temporary staffing, permanent resourcing, international and workforce consulting. On a personal level it as great to see so many familiar faces, the retention here is incredible!
How are the Litmus Workforce Solutions different to the rest?
The focus on delivering client benefits is at the core of how we work. Working directly to solve staffing issues from within the NHS has taught me a lot – and when I realised how differently the onsite teams we deploy operate, especially how they truly engage with everybody involved, joining Litmus was an obvious choice. As far as I can see, no-one else is doing it in quite the same way, and the results at Lancashire Teaching in last year’s DoHSC Flexible Bank Pilots were testament to that.
What’s the best advice you ever got from a co-worker in the healthcare industry?
Treat others as you would expect your mother to be treated – clichéd but ultimately true.
Do you think digital technologies are the key to solving the healthcare staffing crisis?
In part, yes, but they are not the whole picture. They are making a huge difference, and from an e-health perspective there are some very exciting emerging technologies on the way but they need to be managed properly to get best value. From a workforce perspective, we’ve seen a lot of trusts who opted for standalone tech solutions who have been held back by a lack of interoperability with other systems – or frontline staff haven’t had the right support to embed the tech properly. Clever mobile apps that help doctors and nurses to book extra shifts definitely help, but our team know from experience that you need to wrap people and processes around them to get the true benefit. Let’s face it, an app can’t phone a doctor on a Saturday night and persuade them to work a shift in A&E.
How can Trusts future-proof their workforces?
Retention is really important. The NHS needs to try and find a way of investing more in their current workforce, improving engagement with its workers, and making sure they put staff wellbeing at the forefront. But I understand how challenging this is with the financial pressures the system is facing. Focusing on productivity is also critical. There is still a lot more that can be done to streamline operations. This is where outside help and support can enable the NHS to work more efficiently so that frontline services are preserved. We’re ready to upskill their frontline teams so they can get more value for less, reduce rates in line with NHSi targets and ultimately, improve the delivery of patient care.
Will the government’s commitments to get more doctors and nurses in training help?
Yes it will, but it will take several years for new recruits to train and be out there treating patients, it won’t be a quick fix. In the meantime, focusing on productivity and workforce utilisation will be crucial.
If you could be trained up in a profession of your choice, what would it be?
I would have loved to have been a police officer, and for a period of time prior to joining the NHS (and lots of times since) I actively considered it. I did volunteer as a special constable with the Metropolitan Police which I really enjoyed but my career within Healthcare progressed and I chose to stick it out. I am still reasonably young so who knows, there may still be time. 😉
With over 15 years of public sector and healthcare workforce experience, Andrew’s role is to develop the growth of our Workforce Solutions suite and support our customers to realise the benefits that an optimised Staff Bank can bring.