Case studies

International Recruitment Framework


The East of England Collaborative Procurement Hub (EoECPH) is part of the NHS Workforce Alliance – one of NHS England and NHS Improvement’s approved framework operators.

EoECPH works with trusts (locally, regionally and by ICS) to design and operate agency models including projects such as International Recruitment

The International Recruitment of Clinical Healthcare Professionals Framework, launched in March 2019 in response to recommendations set out in the NHS Long Term Plan and the NHS Interim People Plan.

The framework facilitates the NHS’ need to increase international recruitment to fill existing vacancies by offering a compliant route to market. The framework ensures compliance with NHS pre-employment standards, connecting trusts with dedicated staff working hard to treat people with care, compassion and dignity.

The Project

Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust worked collaboratively with EoECPH, their NHS Workforce Alliance partner, to support the trust in a project to recruit in excess of 300 nurses. Due to a scarcity of UK-based candidates, the aim of the project was to bolster current staffing numbers in the trust and address staffing shortages by accessing new markets through the Alliance’s International Recruitment framework. Staff shortages are widely experienced across the NHS, putting trusts under increasing pressure and potentially risking both patient safety and the closure of some services.

The Solution

Using the International Recruitment framework, EoECPH guided the trust through the procurement process and drafted call off contracts ensuring the trust had robust contract performance standards in place including remedial action in the event it was required throughout the life of the contract.

The framework enabled the trust to make a direct award under the framework to a supplier who met their budget and sourcing location requirements. Given the tight timescales for the project this was agreed as the best procurement route to market.

The Results

A contract for 310 nurses, awarded under this NHSEI approved framework, is already delivering qualified nurses from abroad to Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust. The contract’s full complement will arrive within two years.

Recruiting substantively achieves significant savings in agency costs while enabling the Trust to better forecast future salary spending.

This framework offers a solution that can be replicated to benefit other NHS trusts and help to ease the pressures felt due to staffing shortages.

Victoria Huxter, International Recruitment Manager, commented:

“The NHS Workforce Alliance was on hand with expert market advice throughout the procurement process. Their attention to detail and quick response ensured we had a contract that was tailored to meet our specific requirements. With the support of the Alliance, we were able to accomplish our goal of recruiting over 300 nurses amid a staffing shortage.”

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