Navigating Winter Pressures: Proactive Strategies for Healthcare Organisations

27 September 2023

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Navigating Winter Pressures: Proactive Strategies for Healthcare Organisations

Winter may be unpredictable, but your response doesn't have to be. Let TTM Healthcare Solutions be your partner in achieving workforce resilience and maintaining quality patient care.

Every winter, healthcare providers face a formidable challenge – managing the surge in unscheduled care activities in acute settings. It's a reality that demands our attention.

Consider this: in one week of February last year, the Health Service Executive (HSE) reported an alarming 203% increase in patients on trolleys and a 23.8% rise in hospital admissions compared to the previous year. While Emergency Departments often make headlines, the pressures of winter are felt throughout the entire healthcare ecosystem.

We understand the immense dedication and stress healthcare organisations endure during these demanding months. We also recognize that each organization and year presents its unique set of challenges. However, drawing from over two decades of experience in supporting healthcare providers, we've observed two consistent trends.

1. Increasing need for external recruitment support
Organisations are increasingly relying on external recruitment partners to address their surging workforce demands, whether on a temporary or permanent basis. Our data reflects this reality, with our recruitment cycle run rates consistently accelerating by 12-15% across the winter period year after year since 2015. This growth underscores the trust our clients place in us for the support they require.

2. Preparing for waves of winter pressures
Winter pressures may arrive unpredictably, but that doesn't mean we can't prepare. In fact, it makes proactive planning all the more essential. At TTM, we maintain a minimum six-week advance readiness to ensure we can respond swiftly to our clients' needs, every time.

The value of building a strategic partnership with your Talent Management Agency
We're not just a specialist healthcare talent management agency; we're a healthcare solutions company with a holistic approach. When you partner with us, we bring a strategic lens to every conversation. Working in partnership with you we delve into the detail of your workforce strategy. For instance, its common in todays market for healthcare organisations to be operating with a deficit in WTE (whole time equivalent) nos vis a vis optimum staffing levels. Organisations are working to replace staff that have moved on, taken extended leave or retired from their organisation as well as identifying new talent to support service change or service expansion. The workforce solution to achieve this often includes a mix of both international and domestic recruitment strategies, as well as contract and temporary staffing to address their more immediate or short term requirements (in the first instance).

Questions that are often posed included: If you're recruiting international staff, when are they expected to arrive? What are your conversion rates from interview to offer to start for domestic hires and how long is that process taking? What are the current sickness levels being experienced across the organisation, and what is the projected increase over the winter months?

With this level of insight, you gain visibility into the staff you expect to be available and the anticipated shortfalls. It provides the data needed for strategic preparation. You can plan effectively, and we can provide the capacity and support required to help meet your WTE.

Streamlining Recruitment with a Temp-to-Perm Approach
Locum staff play a critical role in meeting the need for a flexible solution to staffing shortages. We encourage you to look beyond their ability to add capacity to your workforce over short periods. At TTM, we frequently establish temporary-to-permanent arrangements with our clients, reducing their recruitment effort, risk, and costs. This approach ensures a single recruitment cycle can provide both a short-term and long-term solution, saving duplicated effort and cost. Moreover, when you find agency workers with the right skills and fit for your organisation, there's no need to say goodbye when their contract ends.

We're Here to Help
Our commitment goes beyond transactional recruitment. We believe in forging close partnerships with our clients, becoming their long-term strategic workforce solutions ally. When you share insights into your challenges and total workforce planning requirements, we work collaboratively to find the solutions you need. This ensures you can maintain the high standards of service you desire, even during times of winter pressure.

Our teams are ready be your strategic partner in navigating the complexities of healthcare staffing during the winter months and beyond.


As dedicated specialists in the healthcare sector, we are ready to be your workforce solutions and healthcare process outsourcing partner.

Whether you work in acute or community healthcare in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors in Ireland, Northern Ireland or the UK, our experienced teams are ready to support your organisation with your permanent, contract and temporary, and international talent requirements. Contact us today to learn more.

Partnership starts with a conversation: