NHS insourcing explained: A doctor’s guide

Insourcing explained

What is NHS insourcing and how does it work? 

On-site Surgical and Medical Capacity Solutions, commonly called “Insourcing” work collaboratively with acute NHS trusts to increase their clinical capacity across all specialties. This enables NHS clients to improve patient access to NHS services and reduce waiting times. Insourcing is often utilised by NHS Acute Trusts as a short to medium-term capacity solution. It allows trusts to retain elective care and recovery in-house and provides a good oversight of service governance, utilisation, and operational monitoring. 

What is the difference between NHS insourcing and NHS outsourcing? 

Insourcing: use the NHS trust’s facilities to increase capacity.  

Outsourcing: use a supplier’s facilities to increase capacity. 

What are the working hours in NHS insourcing? 

Insourcing uses existing NHS premises and equipment outside of current services to provide additional capacity to treat patients. As they run outside the usual clinic times, it gives patients out-of-hours access to services. In most cases, it is simply an extension of the Trust’s existing clinical service over evenings and weekends.

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How is NHS insourcing different from a locum shift? 

Working as a doctor as part of an insourcing contract means you will be working as part of a fully managed service of consultants, healthcare professionals, and nursing staff to treat patients on NHS premises. The medical team will normally have day jobs elsewhere in the NHS. The duties involve elective work where patient lists are coordinated in advance in line with the trust’s existing procedures. The aim of the service is to reduce patient waiting times by working out of hours. 

On a typical locum shift, you will be covering a vacancy for another doctor and working with the internal medical team on-site. Duties can vary as needed on the day to ensure safe and high-quality care for patients. Locum doctors play a key role in keeping the health service running to the best of its ability and ensuring the delivery of its services. 

What are the benefits of insourcing to the NHS? 

Insourcing provides a cost-effective and safe solution for NHS trusts to meet referral to treatment targets (RTT). By using spare capacity and employing NHS consultants and medical teams, they can see a high volume of patients in a short amount of time. The insourcing service is tailored to meet the specific needs of the department and trust, and external expertise can be brought in to share knowledge and improve service delivery. Meeting RTT targets can enhance staff and patient satisfaction and improve the trust’s reputation. 

Can I work as an NHS insourcing doctor? 

The insourcing contracts we support are CQC-registered, approved, trusted insourcing suppliers on existing NHS frameworks and work with consultants who are registered with the GMC (General Medical Council) and hold substantive NHS positions.  

The contracts cover a variety of specialties including anaesthetics, audiology, cardiology, dermatology, ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat), endoscopy, gastroenterology, gynaecology, general surgery, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, oral and maxillofacial, plastic surgery, respiratory medicine, urology, and vascular surgery. 

Will I need medical indemnity insurance to work in NHS insourcing? 

Yes, you must get your own cover in place against clinical negligence claims. 

The GMC Guidance states: “If you carry out any private or independent practice, you must arrange adequate and appropriate insurance or indemnity (even if this work takes place on NHS or HSC body premises). This applies even if the work is in addition to work you do for an NHS or HSC body.”

Read the full GMC guidance here.

What are the next steps for a consultant doctor? 

We are continually increasing our pool of consultants across all specialties to support NHS insourcing contracts. Insourcing work can require doctors in advance or at short notice so it’s important we have completed the compliance process before you start work.  

As a consultant doctor working in an insourcing contract, you’ll benefit from: 

  • Flexible work patterns and locations 
  • Lucrative rates of pay 
  • Flexible payment options (weekly or monthly)
  • The opportunity to deliver patient care in new and exciting ways.

If you’re a consultant doctor who wants to deliver excellent patient care, enquire today about the NHS insourcing work we have available.

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