Increased demand for healthcare staff & utilising immediately available temporary workers

5 minutes
Tracey George

By Tracey George

Impact of COVID-19 on General Practice Staffing

Between December and January, there has been an increase of nearly 300,000 cases of COVID-19 across the UK. This is having a direct impact on staffing levels within GPs and has led to a higher demand for short-term temporary workers. This is also supported by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) who stated there has been a "Significant increase in job adverts for roles in healthcare and construction, while hospitality and leisure industries continue to struggle."

This article went on to say – "With case numbers rising and more health restrictions being put in place to stop the virus, it is no surprise to see significantly higher numbers of job postings for health professionals like nurses (+62.7%), care workers (+25.8%), and radiographers (+71.3%) in December 2020 than a year earlier." This new demand for health and social care professionals will inevitably mean that healthcare providers will also have an increased need for non-clinical support to ensure the smooth running of the surgeries. The past few months have brought to light the essential role 'on the day cover' can play, as some healthcare providers have had to put entire reception teams into isolation with immediate effect.

An interesting report - Fit for The Future: Workforce Roadmap – published by The Royal College of GPs outlines - "Our vision for the future includes an expanded team working in general practice, with enhanced education and training, equipped with the right support and skills to deliver the best possible care for patients. This Workforce Roadmap outlines the actions that are required to achieve our vision for the workforce in 2030. This includes effective workforce planning informed by better data, enhanced education and training in general practice, increased efforts for recruitment and returning staff, and significant efforts to improve the workload and wellbeing for GPs and the whole general practice team." You can read the full report here.

Perhaps we are stating what you already know, and the more pertinent question is, what are some of the solutions to these challenges and aspirations within General Practice?

Our healthcare team at TPP Recruitment are dedicated specialists in recruiting high calibre experienced candidates who are actively looking for temporary and permanent opportunities within the NHS and private healthcare organisations, with a particular focus on providing excellent temporary staff at short notice where required.

TPP has achieved REC Audited status since 2013, and as such, all our temporary workers are fully compliant, and we work closely with clients to meet their compliance requirements where needed.

We have over 22 years supporting general practice and private healthcare organisations with experienced non-clinical professionals including medical receptionists, medical secretaries, practice managers, PAs on a temporary, interim, contract and permanent basis. Our candidates have experience of using the following software, which is commonly sought after by our existing clients: EMIS Web, SystmOne, Choose & Book, Vision, Docman

Additionally, if you require the assistance of other non-clinical staff related to any new services or workload due to Covid-19 within your practice or surgery, for example, testing and vaccination roll-out, we have experienced temporary workers skilled in general admin, reception, customer services, IT, finance or HR, TPP will be able to assist you.

In response to the recent increase in immediate, short-term staffing requirements, we have outlined how we could support you below:

Same Day Bookings
  • Over the winter months surgeries can become inundated with early morning sickness calls. This method of booking temps means you can reduce the impact by adding an additional person to your reception team.
  • We have a 4-hour minimum shift policy
  • Great way to help with high volumes of sickness
  • Our temporary workers are flexible, and most same-day bookings can be extended at short notice if you are made aware your staff member will not be returning the next day
Rebooking Temps
  • Our temps are happy to plan their shifts in advance, and this can help you guarantee you get the temps that best suit your surgery, whether this is to cover annual leave or for additional support in a busier period.
  • Ensure continuity and reduce disruption to your staff
  • Better chance of reliability
  • We are happy to book as far in advance as you are able, which means you can plan your rota ahead of time
Week by Week Bookings
  • Some surgeries can be fearful of a long-term booking simply as they do not know when the booking will end. Booking temps into an ongoing "week by week" booking enables you to keep the temps that work well with you with a mutual understanding the booking could end at short notice
  • This method works as a safety blanket for more long-term sickness cover
  • Keep the same temp where possible
  • No commitment

If you would like to discuss any recruitment-related matters with us or book temporary support staff to help ease the pressure in your surgery, please contact the Healthcare Team on 0207 198 6080 or email

  • 020 7198 6000
  • TPP Recruitment, Northern & Shell Building, 4th Floor, 10 Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6AF