Utilising neurodivergent talent

31 March 2021
4 min read
Published:

Marita Hazeldene discusses a potential solution to recruitment problems.

The healthcare industry is experiencing a skills shortage crisis with the NHS reporting a shortage of around 100,000 staff. The Health Foundation Report anticipates this number could rise to 250,000 over the next decade. The shortage of dental practitioners is particularly alarming. Figures show the number of new dentists in the UK between 2015 and 2018 dropped by 22 percent, and it is estimated around 1.45m people have tried and failed to get an appointment with an NHS dentist due to waiting lists.

We have now ‘Brexited’, but it is still unclear how this will affect the skills shortage, specifically because the healthcare industry relies so heavily on international recruitment to fill positions. The 2017 Christie & Co report demonstrated a huge proportion of dentists – 16.3 per cent – qualified in the European Economic Area. With it looking likely that the government is going to place more restrictions on net migration to disrupt the flow of a lower-skilled workforce into the UK, including dental nurses, we need to look at ways to improve recruitment and better tap into our talent pool.

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