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NHS is not doing enough to attract talented IT professionals says new poll

19 July, 2013
Perceived poor handling of IT contractors and a widespread belief that NHS experience is mandatory continues to deter talented IM&T professionals from pursuing careers in the NHS according to new research released by IT NHS recruiters max20.

The responses are a cause for concern in light of the development of the new Clinical Commissioning Groups and Clinical Support Units, which were formed in April 2013.


The new successors to the Primary Care Trusts are increasingly sourcing non-NHS IT professionals to bring in-demand change management and commercial skills.

Don Tomlinson, Managing Director of IT NHS recruitment specialists max20, said: "The fact that NHS experience is often no longer a prerequisite to working in the organisation for many IM&T roles has not permeated the IT community.  The message needs to be communicated."

The research, which polled more than 200 IT professionals, also found that that more than half of the non-NHS IT professionals were unaware of the new changes and demands.

Nevertheless, some 94 percent would consider a career in the NHS.

Nearly 73 percent of IT professionals in the NHS welcomed the arrival of IT contractors from commercial sectors.

Concern about understanding NHS culture was high although many NHS IT professionals welcomed the chance to appreciate a different outlook and learn commercial skills from new colleagues.

Few (8.2 percent) believe that the NHS still needs to recruit from inside.

30 percent believe the new CCGs and CSUs will improve IT and help instil a more commercial outlook with greater efficiency in delivering IT projects.  A further 19 percent think it will lead to greater collaboration with other public sector organisations.

Tomlinson commented: "The IT communities within and outside the NHS still need to learn more about each other.  There is a lack of communication and direct experience and so clichés and inaccurate views still persist".

"I think this will change, perhaps slower than we would want, as the NHS enters a period of dramatic change that is in large part being driven by IT professionals."

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