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“I always remind my teams that there is a patient at the end of everything we do...” We interview Jan Baum, General Manager for Nursing Services for Allied Healthcare, about her role and Allied’s plans for the future.
26th October 2010
Nurses.co.uk are really pleased and grateful that Allied Healthcare's General Manager for Nursing Services, Jan Baum, has given us her time and thoughts on nursing jobs at Allied.
Jan – could you just introduce yourself, the company, your role and what your responsibilities are?
Allied Healthcare Group is a well established leading provider of Healthcare, Social Care and nursing services in the UK, with over 110 branches nationwide. In my role as General Manager for Nursing Services I operate both our UK and overseas nursing businesses. I’ve been in nursing recruitment for over 25 years and I am a member of the executive for the sector specialist groups of both the Royal College of Nursing and the REC.
I believe your background was in nursing. Is this correct and if so, how do you think it helps and informs your current role?
Yes, I am a Registered Nurse. I left the NHS at Clinical Manager level to live overseas. When I returned to the UK I worked as an agency nurse for a number of years as it suited my home life at the time. My agency then asked me if I could help out in the office for a couple of months and I got hooked! Throughout my career in the nursing agency sector I have always passionately believed that the quality of our staff and service can make a real difference, and I always remind my teams that there is a patient at the end of everything we do. I also think that clients appreciate my understanding of their world and the challenges they face in delivering safe, quality care at a time of such pressures.
Allied has a great reputation within social care jobs. But nursing is an important part of its business too. Could you explain all of the various nursing sectors Allied Healthcare has jobs for?
Here in the UK we are always recruiting for Critical Care staff, Midwives and Band 5 General Nurses for both the NHS and Independent Sectors as well as general and Paediatric Nurses for homecare. Additionally, we always have a number of permanent opportunities so we can also support nurses seeking a new role.
Does Allied have plans to grow its nursing focus?
Yes, we have recently opened a nursing hub in the Midlands in response to client demand and are looking to replicate this elsewhere in due course. We are exhibiting at this year’s RCN Bulletin Jobs Fair on 15 & 16 September in London where my teams and colleagues from Continuing Healthcare will be on hand to talk to nurses about our flexible and permanent opportunities.
Nightingale Nursing really interests us. Can you explain to those who may not have heard about this what it is, and how well this is working for you?
Nightingale Nursing is well established and has kept its separate identity since its acquisition by Allied in 2000. In the UK the business focuses on the independent sector and homecare. Our homecare provision is a mix of private and PCT funded care and works collaboratively with the Allied Continuing Healthcare business delivering clinical management and nursing staff to patients at home with complex needs; an incredibly rewarding part of the business.
We know that Allied also have nursing jobs in Australia. Do you get involved in this at all and does Allied Healthcare promote inbound and outbound nursing candidates?
I operationally oversee the Australian operations, albeit from a distance! We assist both inbound and outbound nurses and there are some great opportunities for nurses through our Sydney offices, including rural placements which are unlike anything UK nurses have ever experienced! In turn, the Australian nurses are extremely well respected and we’re always looking to recruit more.
Beyond nursing then, domiciliary jobs and residential support jobs are a key area for the company. Do you have any stats to indicate how big Allied is in this field?
Allied are the largest homecare provider in the UK, with over 100 branches we employ over 7500 care staff weekly, with as many as 12000 registered across all sectors of the company at any one time.
What changes have you seen in the past 5 years in either domiciliary jobs or nursing jobs?
In terms of nursing jobs the demand has generally increased since mid 2007, although there is also an increased focus by clients on cost and many of the independent sector hospitals have certainly seen the impact of the recession on sheer patient numbers. With the financial pressures here to stay for some considerable time, using a flexible staffing solution as part of their workforce can help clients control costs and the opportunities for nurses through our various divisons remain excellent.
Finally, what sets Allied apart from its competitors?
Unlike most of our competitors we actually employ our field nurses, whilst also accommodating Ltd company status for those who prefer. Very often there is a lack of clarity for agency nurses, who can be left unsupported if things go wrong. Working for Allied gives them the benefits of being employed whilst still allowing them total control and flexibility over when they work. Our consultant teams are staff group rather than client specific and most have been in post for a number of years. They build up great relationships with the staff they are placing and can therefore support them better. We also have great field staff bonus schemes! When working with clients we are realistic about our ability to supply at any given moment, which we know our clients value. With over 30 years supply history to the NHS and independent sectors, we’re here for the long haul.
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