British Nursing Association is 64 years old and is the UK’s longest serving agency. It was founded in 1948 as a cooperative to supply nurses to the National Health Service, which was also established in the same year.
BNA has had an eventful history. At one time is was taken into Government ownership, and was owned for three years by cigarette manufacturer BAT, British American Tobacco. It is now an independent division of a private company, the A24 Group, which specialises in medical staffing, including locums and AHPs. The group was the first organisation in the sector to offer a 24-7 service to care providers, including hospitals, care homes, the prison service and private health facilities.
Whilst it may be the oldest agency in the sector, BNA offers one of the most advanced systems for the management and booking of nurses and HCAs, it says. The ICT System was developed in-house for nurse and HCA registration, compliance, selection and booking. It results from 100,000 hours of development time over six years.
System safeguards include automated restrictions for the selection of agency staff until after completion of full registration, including CRB and credential checks. All relevant employment, training and other references must be fully confirmed; and the work record checked, verified again and finally cleared.
For booking safety, agency consultants can match the exact requirements of clients according to staff qualifications, experience and availability. Face-to-face interviews are mandatory to confirm language ability, with completion of a 20 plus page registration form, including full details of career history and qualifications as well as four referees; original ‘right to work’, qualifications and training certificates; and an employer’s report.
The compliance team includes over 100 dedicated staff to obtain verified professional references from past employers, carry out Occupational Health checks for fitness to work, verify professional qualifications, apply for CRBs, and confirm mandatory training is certificated.
A quality control team re-checks all data. BNA provides jobs and staff in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – including Belfast, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Coventry, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester; Liverpool, London, Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, Sunderland and Wakefield.
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