Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust | Isobel Harrop

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The Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust runs an acute hospital serving the communities of West Norfolk, South Lincolnshire and East Cambridgeshire. Historically the Trust has struggled to recruit in a number of key areas clinically, resulting in very high locum spend at all grades.

The Trust Leadership recognised the need for innovative recruitment solutions as the existing model was not delivering substantive options. Recruitment of International Medical Graduates (IMGs) was a slow process with large attrition of candidates from CV to Interview and from Offer to Placement. The quality of candidates in the process was also highly variable.


The Trust calculated that the Cost of Hire for an IMG Clinical Fellow was equal to 6 weeks of locum cover. As a result, they decided to expand their Clinical Fellow recruitment significantly over the summer with the aim to reduce overall agency spend.


Hunter Healthcare collaborated with the Medical Resourcing team and the Lead Clinicians to assess the candidate market and the specific requirements for each role. They then agreed what the expectations were for candidates before looking at improving the existing interview process:

  • Candidates were screened heavily based on the given criteria and submitted in Candidate Packs, designed for ease of review.
  • CVs were reviewed quickly. Interview requests were passed to Hunter Clinical along with 2 interview slots, typically on consecutive days and with a 3 hour window.
  • Hunter Clinical
    managed all the candidates and arranged the interviews to occur in line with the Consultant’s availability, supporting the process throughout.

This process was run monthly to allow candidates to run through the full process. This enabled numbers to be judged accurately, preventing overspend.


Over a three month period, 28 interviews were organised, 27 of whom were deemed appointable, resulting in 15 placements. This was a significant improvement in the Trust’s recruitment performance compared to the previous year.
This work was done alongside the Trust’s own recruitment process and has resulted in the Clinical Fellow recruitment being done significantly earlier with expected savings of £1.6M this year and £2.4M next year.

Having helped with this programme, the Trust used this success to help reform the recruitment processes of other areas of the Trust, resulting in further placements and successes in each Directorate, including Ophthalmology; Rheumatology and Emergency Medicine.

Isobel Harrop

Relationship Manager

Mobile: 07566 766 706

Email: iharrop@hunter-healthcare.com

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