Written Answers from the Department of Health and Social Care – Criteria for hiring NHS medical staff

This is a non answer


The Department of Health and Social Care has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (123842):


To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what main criteria are considered when hiring NHS medical staff other than their medical qualifications. (123842)

Tabled on: 16 January 2023

Will Quince:

Local National Health Service trusts are responsible for managing their own staffing levels, making recruitment decisions and recruiting the number of health professionals with the appropriate skills and qualifications required to meet local service need.

The answer was submitted on 23 Jan 2023 at 17:55.


  1. Javelin
    January 25, 2023

    Local Trusts must follow national guidelines.

    Simple solution is a national guideline for the recruitment of staff. For example a budget ratio.

    80% of the cost of all workers (inc employees, agency staff, consultants and contractors) need a medical qualification and to be working in a medical role.

    Job done.

  2. Sharon
    January 25, 2023

    My MP forwarded my email to Will Quince when he was Minister for school standards, last August. His reply to my MP, who forwarded it back to me, was unsatisfactory, passing the buck, so I wrote directly to him, only to find he no longer worked there!

    It is so frustrating, and frankly a waste of your time, when one gets a non answer!

  3. Mick
    January 25, 2023

    This is a collected post to cover Sir Johns other post today, as I’ve said before there is far Too many managers and not enough workers.it’s not rocket science and while your at it or your government get this bloody illegals mess sorted, it’s a invasion by the back door or English Channel

  4. Anselm
    January 25, 2023

    I have a lot of medicals in my family. In the past, doctors were a closed guild as were nurses and they trained each other on the wards. They rewarded each other and looked to other professionals for guidance and referrals. The key was who you knew. My consultant brother asked round his consultant friends before his own operation.
    With lots more Commonwealth and European doctors and nurses being absorbed into the NHS, I wonder how much this is still the case?
    Doctors and nurses used to have strong social bonds – dinner, golf, clubs and societies. “Lots and lots more” is lazy and could be disastrous..

    1. Mickey Taking
      January 26, 2023

      You have just put your finger on how the Establishment works !
      Who do you know? Return a favour! What schools did you go to? A somewhat different form of Masons without the altruism.

  5. Cuibono
    January 25, 2023

    = “ I haven’t got the foggiest”.

  6. Cuibono
    January 25, 2023

    Looking at all the multi million worded documents online re NHS recruitment it is so ironic how the NHS bends over backwards to facilitate overseas recruitment.
    When I was at grammar school, several generations of doctors ago, we were told very curtly that we stood no chance whatsoever of getting a place at Medical School.
    Ditto my son at his grammar school.
    NHS = political football and always has been.

  7. Cuibono
    January 25, 2023

    Apparently one of the main ( Lefty/Marxist/Stalinist /nasty/spiteful) aims regarding GP services was to smash entirely the U.K. tradition of local GP practices where son followed father.
    As in you knew your GP and your GP knew you, which, if you ask me is the only medicine that really works. (Other countries know that and are allowed to have their traditions).
    And they didn’t have nurses faffing around the surgery. Just the highly efficient District Nurse.

  8. Cuibono
    January 25, 2023

    Surely there should be some discussion about Thomas Roberts?
    But no…as with poor Mr Amess the Agenda comes first!

  9. Lynn Atkinson
    January 25, 2023

    The whole objective of sub-contracting their work is so that Ministers cannot be held accountable.
    Working well.
    Why do we need the Minister? Perhaps MPs must demand the right to pose their questions to those who are responsible?

  10. Bloke
    January 25, 2023

    Will Quince demonstrates he does not have appropriate skills and qualifications required to know the difference between an answer and a worthless reply. His incompetence adds to the waste.

    1. Mickey Taking
      January 26, 2023

      ex the Windsor Boys School – specialises in the Arts. ‘Nuff said.

  11. a-tracy
    January 25, 2023

    And Will, if they are failing, then that is also you failing, so get on with your job and see what is going wrong with your own eyes and report back to us, don’t go off what the unions and the media say and write, dig in. Which grades are the vacancies in, which trusts are performing well, and which trusts are struggling?

    Are they being diverse, are they hiring men over 50?
    Are they reviewing the training courses they provide for the grade shortages?
    Do they have qualified medical grade nurses spending 80% of their time on Admin (as is reported) if so you are nuts allowing that!

  12. Richard1
    January 25, 2023

    Does the post below really confirm that the NHS (in England I assume) employs over 1.1 million non-medical staff?! That must be hugely more than the number of medical staff? Look what Elon musk has done at Twitter. He simply saw the same job could be done – probably better – with 25% of the staff. We need the same approach throughout the administrative public sector.

  13. Pat
    January 25, 2023

    Good morning,

    If I may, a link to the Daily Telegraph:


    This article sets out the criteria for selecting conservative parliamentary candidates, which we can compare to the NHS recruitment requirements.

    It makes very sobering reading.

  14. George Brooks.
    January 25, 2023

    These 4 replies show that we are getting an increasing number of MPs who bring little or no experience of running anything. The NHS is getting choked up with administrators, quangos and separate divisions fighting for taxpayers’ money and that does absolutely nothing to reduce the waiting lists or improve the service.

    Monday night on BBC2 University Challenge the team of 4 from Queens Belfast were ALL reading politics and their ignorance of general knowledge was staggering. Needless to say they were soundly beaten and they even got some questions on 20th century politics wrong!

    To be accepted on such a course students should have, at the very least, 10 years experience working in industry or commerce. We have far too many MPs learning on the job and our increasing monthly borrowing illustrates this very clearly and it is not helped by having the worst Chancellor in living memory.

  15. MFD
    January 25, 2023

    A typical civil service answer- words , words, word and no meaning. A bit like the answers from my MP! It always confirms they do not understand the subject or their masters will not let them speak the truth

  16. Peter
    January 25, 2023

    How about :-

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much work in terms of cost is carried out by private companies on behalf of the NHS. This to include medical procedures and other tasks such as cleaning.

    To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the selection criteria for engaging and continuing to do business with such companies.

    1. Ashley
      January 25, 2023

      Well if the NHS subcontract anything it is the NHS’s responsibility to ensure the job is done efficiently and they get good value for money and good service. If they are not getting it they are mainly to blame and need to change or enforce the contract better.

      Four very depressing things reported in the Times today.

      Hunt wants to increase the state pension age even further to 68. Try being a manual worker at 68 not many can do it. Yet another tax grab in effect and this at a time when life expectancy has fallen due to Covid & the Covid vaccines.

      Then former chief medical officer Prof. Dame Sally Davis wants yet more increases in Inheritance tax. I assume to push even more of the wealthy overseas. 40% over just £325k is one of the highest rates in the World already!

      Economy fails to bounce back the Office for Budget Responsibility says (why on earth would it bounce back given the highest taxes for 70+ years, duff public services and vast over regulation ever where too?

      Finally Universities told to cut back places for trainee doctors so as to save the government money on training costs. Can they not cut back on the circa 75% of pointless degrees instead?

      1. a-tracy
        January 26, 2023

        “Under the Pensions Act 2007, the State Pension age for men and women was to increase to: 66 between 2024 and 2026, 67 by 2036, and 68 by 2046.” source ombudsman link if John allows.


        Labour started this with the Pensions act whoever is in power this has been agreed.

    2. Barbara
      January 25, 2023

      Lowly minion: ‘The National Health Service is responsible for managing liaison with private companies, making decisions and costings required to meet service need.’

  17. Ian B
    January 25, 2023

    This infection that is crippling the NHS, is infecting the whole spectrum of Empires funded by the taxpayer, that the Government literally GIVES our money to. .

    From the MsM – “Government debt hits 99.5pc of GDP” The OBR the great predictor of the UK economy got it ‘wrong’ again.

    This Government and its refusal to Manage, has sleep walked in to believing the OBR ‘raise taxes’ and it will be alright. Not thinking ‘raise taxes’ and the ‘productive’ will go somewhere else

    This Conservative Government on how to kill the economy. Apparently now a WEF directive. They have increased borrowing and taxes to kill of the UK.

    In refusing to Manage this Government is refusing to cut its Empire to meet income. Rather than manage they are increasing exponentially all State/Tax payer funded entities. More taxpayer funded wages than we have ever seen. Welcome to full State Control full blown 1984 the real ConSocialisum

    To repeat what everyone with a brain of cars about the UK knows ‘Its the economy stupid’

  18. oldwulf
    January 25, 2023


    Mr Quince clearly chose not to answer the question.
    Why ?
    Is this some sort of game ?

  19. Mickey Taking
    January 25, 2023

    ‘Local National Health Service trusts are responsible for managing their own staffing levels, making recruitment decisions’. This is clearly a failing responsibility and objectives should be stated to be met to correct falling numbers, and the rate of leavers.

  20. Dave Andrews
    January 25, 2023

    I’m a little bit confused about the point of the letter. Surely criteria for hiring staff is best sorted out by the NHS trusts, rather than government that doesn’t have a clue about anything.

    1. a-tracy
      January 26, 2023

      Dave, the criteria for hiring staff is supposed to be sorted out by all those managers and administrators, HR departments we pay for in the NHS but they can’t flex and change their approach when their normal pattern of easy hiring. They need instructions and they need to change.

  21. Ashley
    January 25, 2023

    Also SIR KEIR STARMER backs Sadiq Khan’s appalling tax plans under the bogus ruse of cleaner air (to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) across London, yesterday).

    Total insanity from Sunak and the appalling prospect of Starmer/Sturgeon in late 2024 to follow. Why would anyone invest in the UK? Incentives for are what is needed Suank a 180 degree U-turn.

  22. glen cullen
    January 25, 2023

    Its taken me a while but after watching PMQs today I’ve realise that Sunak is a technocrat
    You have a technocratic government SirJ and you can only expect technocratic answers

  23. James1
    January 25, 2023

    O/t Mr Sunak admitted in PMQ’s in the HoC today that he has referred the Zahawi HMRC tax affair to an ethics advisor. Can anyone imagine Mrs Thatcher having to refer anything to an ethics advisor?

    1. rose
      January 25, 2023

      No I can’t. I can’t imagine Lord Salisbury referring anything to an ethics adviser either. Or Lord Palmerston.

      This is all part of the Blairite invention of government without responsibility.

    2. a-tracy
      January 26, 2023

      No, but hire and fire rules are very different today than they were in the 1980’s. People have the right to defend themselves before being removed from their position without due consideration.

      Just look at how much Ed Balls cost us by not dismissing Shoesmith correctly and with due process.

      We’ll see soon if the incompetent Rochdale Housing Association guy that was pushed out of his job sues.

  24. margaret
    January 25, 2023

    Since you are in favour of privatisation , I decided to be consulted by our old NHS staff ‘who I have faith in . This was OK and the bill was £350 direct to the consultant, however the fees for the scan were £ 950 . I immediately got an invoice which I paid in the hospital. I then got a letter telling me that £151 was outstanding and I had not paid it. I then got an ‘e’mail to say as they have a photograph of my card they would take the outstanding amount on the 20th Jan . Yesterday I got a nasty letter asking how do I intend to pay this money? I had to phone and explain that I should not be harassed for what amounts to 3 mistakes by the private company . I had made every attempt to pay before christmas in full on the day giving my debit card in and getting a receipt and they still get it wrong 3 times , then try and blame me!

    1. a-tracy
      January 26, 2023

      Did you write a strongly worded complaint to the private hospital Management, I would.

  25. glen cullen
    January 25, 2023

    Warm up the ovens ….another 450 pizzas required
    (and I don’t mean for NHS staff I mean for todays illegals crossing the channel)

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      January 25, 2023

      Glen. And how many will claim to be children and in fact be adults? They sit in classrooms with our children and then we find out some are criminals or murderers.

    2. rose
      January 25, 2023

      Perhpas HMG should follow the Twittering example of the Southern Irish government:

      “The Irish Government asks those who are considering seeking refuge in Ireland and are currently in places of safety not to travel to Ireland at this time and to defer making travel arrangements to come to Ireland.”

      One post on Monday reads. “This is due to a severe shortage of available accommodation.”

  26. mancunius
    January 25, 2023

    In view of recent news reports, you question is perfectly understandable, Sir John.
    The implication of that answer is that NHS Trusts can pretty much decide on what basis they hire staff, without any public accountability, or indeed any smidgen of curiosity by the Minister.
    If that really is the case, I’d suggest cutting off all funding until they make a fully grounded case.

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