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Enabling delivery of urgent public health programmes

For public health departments and agencies, we provide rapid deployment of clinical and non-clinical support teams that enable delivery of urgent public health programmes, including supporting responses to Covid-19. 

Serco healthcare teams provide clinical and associated healthcare services from more than 100 facilities across Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia, including public hospitals, quarantine facilities, immunisation hubs, telehealth programmes, Australian Defence Force base hospitals and clinics as well as running several custodial facility health services. 

Our healthcare service delivery model utilises a patient-centred approach, co-designing services alongside our customers, health experts, patients and support staff to ensure we deliver a better patient experience with enhanced health, wellbeing and community outcomes. 

Our national footprint of clinical teams across metropolitan, regional and remote areas has grown to support state and territory governments across Australia in meeting surges in demand for public healthcare services, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

From early 2020, Covid-19 created significant challenges for attracting, retaining and managing clinical and healthcare workforces. Federal, state and territory governments and agencies providing public health services across Australia faced a shortage of qualified, skilled clinical staff, particularly nurses. Traditional talent sourcing channels struggled to deliver the number of skilled and qualified staff needed across Australia. 

With a clinical workforce of more than 2,500 health professionals and clinical support staff across 45+ role types (including medical and dental officers, specialist and general nurses, allied and mental health clinicians, health clerks and care assistants), Serco was approached to support the recruitment, credentialing, onboarding, and ongoing compliance and professional learning and development of personnel to support urgent public health programmes. 

For example: 

Partnering with New South Wales (NSW) in sourcing a non-traditional workforce and developing new models of care 

As Sydney and greater NSW were starting to move out of their lockdown, the state government recognised that the increased likelihood of Covid-19 hospitalisations could result in additional pressure on nursing teams. 

Their public health team identified that removing certain non-clinical support tasks from the nursing role, such as facilitating family visits and helping patients order lunch, would enable greater focus on clinical activities, such as administering medication and dressing wounds, while ensuring patient still received the best care outcomes. 

They developed a new non-clinical role to support nurses: Care Assistants. By identifying workforces from non-clinical backgrounds, such as customer service, retail and hospitality, they could remove a significant burden from nurses while continuing to provide positive patient experiences. 

Serco was engaged to recruit, assess, deploy and manage individuals in these new roles. In addition to sourcing skilled candidates through our Talent Communities and Care2Connect programme, the Serco Talent Acquisition team recruited for the roles through virtual career fairs and marketing campaigns tailored to engage talent from local communities. 

Serco identified and sourced 400 Care Assistants from across Sydney, where we would employ the workforce through four days of intensive training and support their deployment into public hospitals and local health districts. At the outset of the project, it was not clear whether this would be a role that would appeal to many people. However, Serco found most candidates who applied were interested in moving into a health career but didn’t know how to make it happen. The supported approach to training and deployment for this new role was therefore very compelling.