Staff Shortages

The shortage of workers that is currently effecting supply chains across the country could go on for a number of years warns the CBI.

It said that the Government should adopt a more flexible policy on immigration to tackle the problem.

McDonalds, Wetherspoons, Ikea and Iceland have reported that they are falling short of some supplies.

“The CBI has heard from companies actively cutting capacity because they can’t meet demand, like the hoteliers limiting the number of bookable rooms because they don’t have enough housekeeping staff and can’t get linen laundered,” said CBI director general Tony Danker.

“Meanwhile some restaurant owners have had to choose between lunchtime and evening services when trying to make the most of summer.”


The CBI said the list of “shortage occupations” which determines whether overseas workers are granted work visas should be widened to include HGV drivers and other areas where its members had identified shortages, including welders, butchers and bricklayers.

“The government promised an immigration system that would focus on the skills we need rather than unrestrained access to overseas labour,” said Mr Danker. “Yet here we have obvious and short-term skilled need but a system that can’t seem to respond.”

The CBI said members also cited shortages of fruit and flower pickers, food and meat processing operatives, livestock and arable workers, factory assembly workers, scaffolders, carpenters, chefs, cleaners and housekeepers.


We are experiencing this first hand and seeing the demand for staff outstrip supply.

We have never experienced such high demand for candidates as we are seeing right now.

Take a look at our current vacancies here

UK approves Pfizer jab for 12 to 15-year-olds

The UK regulator has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in children aged 12-15, saying it is safe and effective in this age group and the benefits outweigh any risks.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) have approved the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children aged 12 to 15-years-old in the UK.
Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive said, “We have carefully reviewed clinical trial data in children aged 12 to 15 years and have concluded that the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective in this age group and that the benefits of this vaccine outweigh any risk.

“We have in place a comprehensive safety surveillance strategy for monitoring the safety of all UK-approved Covid-19 vaccines and this surveillance will include the 12- to 15-year age group.

“No extension to an authorisation would be approved unless the expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness have been met.

“It will now be for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to advise on whether this age group will be vaccinated as part of the deployment programme.”

A Department of Health spokeswoman said, “The government has asked the independent experts at the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) to advise whether routine vaccination should be offered to younger people aged 12 to 17.

“We will be guided by the expert advisors and will update in due course.”


Frontline agency staff must be included in vaccination plans of NHS Trusts in England from Monday, following instructions from NHS England.

The move follows successful lobbying by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

The REC is now urging the minister for Covid vaccine deployment Nadhim Zahawi MP to think more broadly about who should be prioritised for the vaccine. “This includes key workers in logistics, education and non-clinical roles in the NHS where workers are at an increased risk of catching and spreading the virus,” an REC statement said.

In December, the REC reported that members were concerned about agency workers being excluded from lists to receive the vaccine. “We wrote to the minister for care before Christmas to raise concerns that agency staff were not being prioritised with direct employees to receive the Covid-19 vaccination,” Kate Shoesmith, the REC’s deputy CEO, said in comments to

“Today [7 January 2021] we are delighted to report that as of Monday [11 January] all health and social care staff, regardless of the type of contract they’re on, will be able to get the vaccine at their local vaccine hub.

“This is a big challenge,” Shoesmith went on to say. “Trusts must make sure all staff receive a vaccine, with special attention to those working in a community setting.”

Shoesmith sent a letter yesterday [7 January] to Zahawi, to raise concerns about a need for broader consideration of workers also requiring the vaccine. “We’ve also… been talking to stakeholders to ensure that all agency workers in key sectors are treated equally in the vaccine programme. This is in the interests of the people they serve and care for, the colleagues they work with, and entirely necessary given they are putting their own health at risk to serve the nation during the pandemic.

“We are in another worrying phase of the pandemic, and temporary staff are crucial in helping the NHS, logistics, education and other services cope. These individuals deserve equal protection via the vaccine.”

The lists of those health and social care workers now prioritised for vaccinations include bullet points for “temporary, locum or ‘bank’ staff, including those working in the Covid-19 vaccination programme, students, trainees and volunteers with patients” and “frontline social care workers directly working with vulnerable people who need care and support irrespective of where they work… or who they are employed by, for example, local government, NHS, independent sector or third sector”.

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A coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine has been approved for use in the UK.

The vaccine met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Other vaccines are being developed. They will only be available on the NHS once they have been thoroughly tested to make sure they are safe and effective.

Vaccine safety

Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through. The UK has some of the highest safety standards in the world.

Vaccines will only be used if they are approved by the MHRA. The MHRA has been monitoring every stage of coronavirus vaccine development.

So far, thousands of people have been given a coronavirus vaccine and no serious side effects or complications have been reported.

Who will get the vaccine

The NHS will start giving the coronavirus vaccine as soon as it is available.

At first, the vaccine will be offered to people who are most at risk from coronavirus, before being offered more widely.

We expect the vaccine will first be offered to:

  • people who live in care homes and care home workers
  • people aged 80 and over
  • health and social care workers in England

The final decision on who will get the vaccine first will follow advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).


Article taken from

Sleep pods give health care workers some much-needed rest

Sleep pods are showing up in an increasing number of British hospitals as a way to help exhausted staff grab a few minutes of much-needed shut-eye.

The health care sector is well known for its long, demanding hours, and while the sleep pods are far from a miracle fix, they can certainly go some way to helping tired staff regain a little bit of energy during a particularly hectic workday. If they have time to use it, that is.

Hereford County Hospital, about 100 miles north-west of London, is the latest health care facility in the United Kingdom to deploy a number of the sleep pods, built by New York-based MetroNaps.

Doctors and nurses at the hospital will have access to the pods during a three-month trial during which their effectiveness will be assessed.

Staff can use them during a break, or before driving home after a long shift, the hospital said.

The pods are being deployed as part of the Fight Fatigue campaign that aims to tackle the negative effects of shift working and fatigue on the U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) workforce.


MetroNaps’ sleep pod, which goes with the name EnergyPod, features a bed beneath an adjustable “privacy visor.” Once activated, the pod uses soft lighting and soothing “sleep music” to help the user relax or drift off. Toward the end of a session, the pod enters into a pleasant wake sequence featuring gentle lighting and vibrations.

The EnergyPods tend to get the most use between midnight and four in the morning, according to the Guardian, with time slots between lunchtime and 4 p.m. also popular. Staff rest in the pod for an average of 20 minutes, though a few might drift off for more than an hour.
“We welcome the installation of the new sleep pods, which have been funded by the NHS and form part of our staff well-being plans to improve working conditions and rest areas for doctors and all of our shift workers,” Sue Smith, director of human resources at Wye Valley NHS Trust, which oversees Hereford County Hospital, said in a release.

Smith added: “We’re encouraging staff to fight fatigue by taking breaks, staying hydrated, eating well, getting extra sleep before a night shift, and taking a power nap during their break when working a night shift to improve alertness.”

It’s true that sleep pods have been around for a few years now, but as we continue to learn more about the importance of getting proper rest and its positive effect on the body, a growing number of workplaces are looking at how they can use technology to help their employees feel more refreshed. Such solutions have the potential to create a happier workforce, improve productivity, and, in the case of health care staff, ensure safer performance.