Focusing Innovations to Meet Customer Needs During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

To ensure organisations are able to safely employ workers during this unprecedented time, we have enhanced our Total Workforce Solutions Framework to fit with social distancing measures, introducing features such as tele-consultation and surge staffing in addition to developing non-clinical solutions with our supplier community.

Enhancing Access to Non-Clinical Staffing including Cleaning Services

Since the NHS England and NHS Improvement’s (NHSE&I) announcement to temporarily relax the agency rules around sourcing non-clinical agency staff, HealthTrust Europe has seen an increased demand in staff supply services for logistics, facilitates/estates, security and hotel services including cleaning under Lot 4 of the Total Workforce Solutions (TWS) Framework.

Coronavirus has had a significant impact on staffing capacity across the health and care sector, and there has been a particular demand for agency staff to fill positions across the Social Care Sector and to fill other essential worker roles such as delivery drivers and warehouse packagers.

Given the inability to recruit staff using traditional methods, HealthTrust Europe has worked with NHSE&I to amend compliance requirements to respond to social distancing and lockdown measures and ensure that essential worker positions can be filled during this time. We have extensively engaged our supplier community to create a range of options for temporary, fixed term and permanent recruitment to meet our customers’ individual needs across non-clinical staffing. We are pleased to have set up a rapid response option to customers wishing to raise urgent requirements via to support with sourcing the right resource.

Introducing Tele-Consultation under Total Workforce Solutions

A further innovation under the framework is the introduction of Tele-Consultations across the agency lots for remote/video access to healthcare professionals. With social distancing measures still being enforced across the UK and a wide range of healthcare professionals self-isolating, HealthTrust Europe recognised the need to allow recruitment to take place remotely using secure hosted technology platforms. Using such technology has allowed organisations to access staff such as Consultant Doctors and Advanced Nurse Practitioners remotely, using video conferencing technologies to support virtual wards and to offer virtual consultations and elective sessional work to be undertaken within the constraints of the lockdown. The Tele-Consultation option compliments existing recruitment pathways, ensuring high calibre applicants are sourced whilst maximising quality, safety, service and price through the framework terms and conditions.

By using such technology, both staff and patients are able to maintain social distancing, greatly reducing the risk of infection for both parties and allowing providers to begin to plan the return of elective care and managing waiting lists pro-actively. Our supplier community is working hard to support providers to implement, adapt and train on the new platforms to ensure all staff are able to use the remote technologies effectively.

Accessing a wider supply chain through Surge Staffing Options

Finally, the introduction of ‘Surge Staffing’ and ‘Rapid Response’ initiatives has provided a further new option under Total Workforce Solutions. Working with our supplier community, we are introducing faster, lighter touch access to technology solutions that enable rapid expansion of access to on and off framework suppliers to meet bank demand, agency requirements and to support cost controls. The solutions offer an efficient and effective mechanism to ramp up supply capability quickly in one or multiple staff groups, aligned to framework standard, that can be implemented for short, medium or long-term requirements to support with the provision of patient care during the Coronavirus outbreak or in planning the return of elective care.

HealthTrust Europe continues to work with our provider partners and supplier community to ensure our agreements meet and exceed demands during this unprecedented time. The new features of the Total Workforce Solutions Framework are available for access immediately, on a free to access basis across the United Kingdom.

If you need guidance, advice and/or solutions to meet your workforce needs, start a conversation by contacting us on Our dedicated customer team is on-hand to deal with any customer queries regarding staffing and recruitment. We are committed to doing everything that we can to support our partners with solutions to deliver the right resource, at the right time, for the right cost.

Celebrating Nurses and Healthcare Workers Around the World

International Nurses Day 2020

Tuesday 12th May is International Nurse’s Day – an annual celebration of the crucial work and role of nurses around the world, which also marks the anniversary of the birth of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale.

This year’s celebrations are incredibly important because 2020 has been designated the year of the nurse and midwife to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth.

The public is being asked to “shine a light” from their window at 8.30pm today to recognise the role of the nurses in the coronavirus fight and demonstrate our gratitude, so please join in if you are able too!

Supporting employers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

On 25th March 2020, the Coronavirus Act 2020 made it into the statute books. The Act will enforce the UK’s response to the current challenges the economy is experiencing.

It covers 5 key areas:

  • Emergency staffing to increase the health and social care workforce;
  • Technology and equipment aimed at easing the burden on frontline staff;
  • Containing and slowing the virus (through powers to limit or suspend unnecessary social contacts and disperse gatherings);
  • Managing the deceased with respect and dignity;
  • Supporting people, generally.

What are your responsibilities as an employer?
With working from home being recommended by the Government to assist with social distancing and protecting our frontline services, technology is essential. From hardware, to mobile phones, networking and software, to keeping communications open and keeping organisations working as effectively as possible during this time. With this, comes other responsibilities ensuring employees have a safe working environment and are supported in times of isolation.

For those employees who are attending work, employers should remind them of the need to regularly wash their hands for 20 seconds and frequently disinfect any objects or surfaces that are used regularly.

What should I pay staff who are not key workers and are unable to work from home?
The Government is providing support to employers affected by these circumstances through its furlough scheme. Employers who apply for the scheme will be reimbursed for employees who are not required to work during this time. To be eligible for the furlough scheme employees must have been registered on a PAYE payroll system on or before 28th February 2020. To continue to be eligible for the scheme, employees cannot undertake work for, or on behalf of their employer or an associated or affiliated employer. The Government will cover 80% of their pay up to £2,500 a month. This is a temporary scheme for three (3) months starting from 1st March 2020, but may be extended if necessary. Employers can use the scheme at any time during this period.

What about sick pay?
Those who follow advice to stay at home and who cannot work as a result of the coronavirus will be eligible for statutory sick pay (SSP), even if they are not themselves showing signs of the viral infection. Employers should use their discretion and respect the medical need to self-isolate. Medical evidence is not required for the first 7 days of sickness and employers are being asked to apply their discretion for evidence of any sickness lasting longer than 7 days especially if related to the employee or if they are living with someone who is self-isolating.

Do you have concerns on Data Protection as more employees are working from home?
Data protection is not a barrier when it comes to working from home. The law does not prevent staff working from home, whether using their own equipment or equipment supplied by their employer. There is however an increased risk of data breaches. There are ways to mitigate data breaches such as encrypting or pseudonymising data before it is transferred.

In the current situation, having skeleton staff working do you need support with contractual issues, supply chain issues, HR issues, event cancellations, insurance claims?
Our supplier partners can offer rapid response to urgent needs, de-risking and securing supply chains, support in business as usual contracting whilst your substantive team focus on the urgent situation, as well as reviewing contracts to ensure any risk is minimised.

When the worst happens, which unfortunately is occurring more than any of us would like, NHS trusts need to ensure they have a sufficient working relationship with their local senior coroner.
To ensure that Trusts are working in line with the latest guidance from NHSE and NHSI to maximise staff availability, our legal suppliers are able to offer support to Trusts who have concerns regarding how their coroner is operating. The legal suppliers are also able to support individual clinicians concerned with pressures being put on them by in-house legal teams of their local coroners.

All of our Legal Suppliers offer free legal advice which can be taken up on any new cases. Many of our Consultancy Solutions and Advisory Services suppliers are also offering free advice and solutions to assist you in managing contracts, as well as offering support in procurement and supply chain issues, and supporting your employees who may need moral support while they are either in isolation or working from home.

If you need rapid advice and solutions on any of the points raised above, we encourage stakeholders to contact us on We also facilitate fast track on-boarding as well as a range of other solutions. We will continue to do everything that we can to support our partners with solutions to deliver the best patient care and value in these challenging times.

Supporting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of our colleagues

Mindfulness and Wellbeing

Supporting the Mental Health and Wellbeing of our colleagues is vitally important to us as an organisation and even more so during this Coronavirus pandemic.

Everyone has different ways of dealing with everyday life but when life changes drastically, your mechanisms for managing these changes also need to adapt. Whether you are social distancing or self-isolating, you may be feeling more anxious and stressed during this time, which is completely understandable.

At HealthTrust Europe, we have moved from an open plan office to remote working in order to keep our colleagues and the communities we serve safe. This has meant the community environment, in which colleagues were able to communicate freely in person, have regular face-to-face conversations, discuss ideas with their colleagues, take lunch breaks from the office to exercise or buy lunch or essentials from the local supermarket and undertake on and offsite meetings with suppliers and customers has now shifted. Colleagues are instead having to use rooms in their homes as offices and discussions all taking place via phone calls and video conferences.

In addition to this, many colleagues may be unable to see family and friends other than through video calls, may be living alone, with children or self-isolating and unable to pop to the shop to break up their day or take in some form of exercise outside the home. All of this change at once can have a significant impact, as such elevating our support of colleagues and their families is of vital importance to us. To assist our colleagues with this transition and continually support them during this time of crisis, we’re maintaining a realistic level of “business as usual” activity to provide stability and a sense of routine which helps with an individual’s mental health, whilst also introducing new ways of working to adjust to the current times we are in.

We are aware that colleagues with children or other dependents at home with them are likely to be dealing with home-schooling or caring activities alongside their day-to-day work. This can put extra strain on colleagues to manage their work/life balance when there is no physical separation from the two except maybe a door to another room. We are supporting and encouraging colleagues to make adjustments to their daily routine, which enable them to take care of themselves, their children, dependents and continue to undertake their roles; we also understand that from time to time children or other family members may appear in the video call.

It can be easy to forget to take a break from work and the computer screen during the working day when remote working, so in collaboration with all colleagues we are undertaking the following measures:

  • Inviting colleagues to take part in a social chat twice a day, to help them refocus and re-energise, or even just to move from where they are to take that essential drink or break.
  • Sharing amusing content on Team chats to brighten up the days.
  • Colleagues are invited to take part in regular mindfulness activities hosted by our Health and Wellbeing CSR Group, such as guided meditation sessions and seated yoga sessions.
  • In normal circumstances we would hold a company-wide quiz at the end of each month, hosted by different colleagues on topics ranging from general knowledge to music and sport. It created team working and healthy competition between colleagues and generated great camaraderie and a sense of inclusion. We didn’t want social distancing to stop this, so have begun to use our remote working capability and resources to hold a virtual quiz every Friday afternoon, to ensure that colleagues end the week on a positive note.
  • We continue to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Society, our chosen charity for the year. There will be many people with friends and family members that are affected by Alzheimer’s; those who are currently caring for Alzheimer’s patients at home are under increased pressure to support them. Others may not be able to visit loved ones in nursing homes who are receiving specialist care. We have been finalising our plan for virtual fundraising to ensure this great charity continues to get the support it needs and will share this with colleagues in due course.
  • We also have 21 trained mental health first aiders who are on hand to signpost colleagues to relevant services and check in with colleagues to provide an outlet for them; our company intranet site includes additional resources to support good mental health and wellbeing.

We would like to thank everyone for their hard work, and we will continue to take care and support our colleagues as well as supporting healthcare providers with delivering vital healthcare to patients.

COVID-19 Ongoing response from HealthTrust Europe

HealthTrust Europe is continually monitoring and responding to the everchanging landscape around the COVID-19 outbreak, and we take our role in this very seriously. We would like to share an update on the work we are undertaking to ensure that we are able to deliver for our customers.

The protection of our colleagues and the wider community is of the utmost importance to us; as such we have taken significant steps using advanced systems and processes to set our teams up to function remotely whilst continuing to carry out vital work and deliver a high standard of service to our members.

The COVID-19 outbreak is having a significant impact on the supply chain in certain product categories, however we are working closely with the supplier community to understand the position regarding the allocation of stock in order to minimise the impact on customers and will continue to monitor and keep you abreast of the situation.

In times of crisis, it is essential that the health sector can mobilise its resources, and we are working closely with partners to ensure this remains possible. In order to allow us to work to the best of our abilities to meet customer need, HealthTrust Europe has set up a number of COVID-19 task groups to work closely with suppliers on key areas across the sector.

HealthTrust Europe’s task groups include:

  • Laboratories
  • Medical capital equipment
  • Pharmacy
  • PPE Warehouse
  • Purchased Services
  • Respiratory

These groups have been designed to enable us to get a better understanding of viability of sources to ensure we are always striving to meet demand. The groups are also permitting us to identify new sources where necessary, to enable the continuation of effective clinical care.

Our task groups are meeting daily to ensure that we are agile and responsive to customer needs, whilst working hard to support wider efforts of the sector at this challenging time, ensuring the fulfilment and appropriate allocation of stocks.

HealthTrust Europe will continue to review the processes we have in place regularly to ensure we are addressing the challenges raised by the COVID-19 outbreak, in order to continue to be your trusted partner.

If any you have any questions regarding the ongoing COVID-19 situation, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our customer care team at 0845 887 5000 or

HealthTrust Europe selects Alzheimer’s Society as its 2020 charity

HealthTrust Europe is delighted to announce Alzheimer’s Society, the UK’s leading dementia charity, as its 2020 chosen charity. Each year, a UK-based charity is selected and supported, as part of the company’s commitment to the care and improvement of human life. Employees then take part in fundraising activities in order to raise as much money as possible for the chosen charity. Last year, HealthTrust Europe raised an incredible £10,170 for Birmingham Mind, the UK’s leading mental health charity.

Currently an estimated 850,000 people live with Dementia in the UK – a figure set to rise to 1.6 million by 2040. In 2020 alone, more than 200,000 will develop the disease, roughly 1 every 3 minutes.

Dementia treatment can include round-the-clock care which can be incredibly expensive. The burden of paying for care too often falls on the sufferer and their families. Due to the significant costs of social care, family members often must act as unpaid carers. Unpaid carers who support someone with dementia saves the UK economy £13.9 million a year, indicating the level of crisis the UK faces in dementia care.
Despite there being no cure for the disease, dementia research is desperately underfunded: just £90 is spent per person living with the disease each year. Alzheimer’s Society is working hard to change this and has committed to spending at least £150 million over the next decade on dementia research.

Dale Robinson, HealthTrust Europe’s Chief Operating Officer, said:

“HealthTrust Europe has unanimously selected Alzheimer’s Society as our 2020 charity. Alzheimer’s Society does incredible work for a cause that is so close to all our hearts, and their continued commitment to changing people’s lives is an inspiration to us all.
HealthTrust Europe is, and continues to be committed to the care and improvement of human life. We hope that our fundraising efforts will help us work towards our mission whilst supporting the profound work of Alzheimer’s Society.
Our employees are excited to see how much we can raise for such a fantastic charity and cause. We hope that our fundraising can make a real difference to people’s lives.”

HealthTrust Europe will be organising and taking part in fundraising activities throughout the year, and the final amount raised will be announced in early 2021.

HealthTrust Europe – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Covid-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that was first detected in Wuhan City, China, in January 2020. As you will be aware, the landscape surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak is changing daily, so it is highly recommended to pay close attention to updates from the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS.

At HealthTrust Europe, we take the safety and wellbeing of our staff, clients and suppliers very seriously, and are working with our community to uphold our rigorous safety standards at this time.

We recommend that individuals continue to adhere to the safety guidance and precautions put in place by Public Health England. Practical hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus remain focussed on promoting good hand and respiratory hygiene, such as:

  • Washing your hands regularly with soap and water and use alcohol-based sanitisers
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze
  • Disposing of tissues straightaway and washing hands with soap and water
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth

If you do not have symptoms and are looking for general information on Covid-19, a free NHS helpline has been set up on 0800 028 2816. The helpline is open on Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 10.00pm and on Saturday and Sunday, 9.00am to 5.00pm.

Result! HealthTrust Europe exceeds £10,000 fundraising target for Mind in football rematch

HealthTrust Europe (HTE) and supplier partner Altodigital faced each other in a rematch on December 17th following the latter’s win earlier this year in a charity football game between teams from the two Midlands-based businesses.

While Altodigital took the winning title again with 3-1, the HTE team were in high spirits after exceeding their ambitious target of raising over £10,000 for mental health charity Birmingham Mind this year.

The match was the culmination of a year long charity effort which HTE undergoes annually. Birmingham Mind, was the company’s chosen charity for 2019, as part of HTE’s commitment to the care and improvement of human life.

Dale Robinson, Chief Operating Officer of HealthTrust Europe, said:

“I am incredibly proud of the HTE team who faced really strong opponents in the form of Altodigital.

“I want to thank everyone who played their part in helping to not just meet but exceed our £10,000 target for Mind. The effort exemplifies HealthTrust Europe’s mission to improve healthcare in the communities we serve.

“We have been honoured to support such an amazing charity and this money will make a real difference to those who need it most.”

HealthTrust Europe Tackles Challenges in Healthcare Procurement

HealthTrust Europe’s new Chief Operating Officer, Dale Robinson, will be speaking at the Health Care Supply Association Conference on 28 November.

This week Dale spoke to Business Aspects magazine on how providers can tackle healthcare procurement:

The health sector, and organisations operating within the sector, are continually reacting to change. Healthcare solutions partner, HealthTrust Europe (HTE), is at the centre of healthcare procurement and firmly focused on supporting and tackling the challenges ahead.

Read more here.

HealthTrust Europe’s Senior Director of Pharmacy, Anna Clark features in this month’s Healthcare Tech Outlook

We’re delighted that HealthTrust Europe’s Senior Director of Pharmacy, Anna Clark features in this month’s Healthcare Tech Outlook, where she discusses the future of pharmacy automation.

Pharmacy automation offers numerous benefits to both patients and health and care providers, however not all have been able to take advantage of it. With increasing pressure on pharmacies now may be the right time for providers who want to increase efficiency to take a fresh look at automation.

Read more here.