A1 Medical & General Ltd

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by A1 Medical & General Ltd's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from A1 Medical & General Ltd is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Highlighting best practice
Linda Bedford, founder and
managing director
We raise and maintain industry
quality standards
A1 Medical & General Ltd was founded in September
2001 by the current managing director, Linda Bedford,
who has 24 years’ continuous experience within the
recruitment industry. Their criteria in founding A1 was to excel
within the industry purely by raising and maintaining quality
standards. They do this by providing a high-quality service to
clients while placing the right candidates in the right roles.
Through the assurance of quality across both of these areas, A1
can ensure the client is receiving the highest level of service for
the vulnerable people in their care.
We are a family business, above all else. My husband is our finance director, and Matt,
my son, manages the day-to-day office operations and temporary staffing. This assures
all clients of both the continuity of supply and the longevity of the management at
the company. Matt will eventually take over and begin a new era for the company.
The A1 ethos
We have also taken a conscious decision to concentrate on quality rather than size,
to ensure there is no detriment to the quality of staff and service provided. We
have a strong commitment to finding work in a variety of areas, including hospitals,
prisons, mental health units, learning disability units, private hospitals, occupational
health, nursing homes and supported living services, as well as many other private
facilities and establishments. We have a strong core of clients who return to use
our services on a long-term basis, as well as a number of temporary workers who
have been registered with the company for over ten years on a full-time basis.
»Founder and managing
director: Linda Bedford
»Established in 2001
»Based in Doncaster
»Services: Recruitment in the
healthcare sector and for the
»No. of employees: 8
»No. of candidates placed every
year: 4,000
»Audited according to national
NHS framework in summer
2017 and received a result of
100 per cent
A1 Medical & General
The NHS believes that people only
work for a nursing agency until they
can get a permanent position; this
is wholly untrue. There are a large
number of temporary workers who
choose to only work with agencies, so
that they can work when and where
they choose. Our company is very
much led by the temporary workers
who choose to work when their
partners are at home and so save on
childcare costs; there are individuals
who only want to work when it fits
in with family life and commitments.
By allowing these individuals to tweak
their preferences so they are able to
have a flexible work-life balance, in
effect, they can work at the times and
in the areas that they wish. This is
not possible in permanent positions,
since most staff are on rotas and have
to work when they are scheduled to,
irrespective of home circumstances and
outside commitments.
Strengths and successes
The level of service we are able
to provide is second to none.
Bydelivering this high level of
customer care and reinforcing it with
our highly qualified staff, we justify
the faith and trust that both candidate
and client place in us. We provide an
apt solution for organisations when
they are at their most vulnerable,
understaffed or underpressure.
Our strengths and successes are
grounded in the support we provide
for our staff and our candidates. Once
a candidate is placed, we ensure
they are not isolated and provide
a comprehensive support network
that can deal with any grievances or
concerns that may arise. We also have
a highly motivated team of office staff,
who provide excellent service every
single day, all of whom possess Level 3
SOVA and SOCA qualifications.
Our team is dedicated
and professional
The level of
service we are
able to provide
is second to
Highlighting best practice
Our candidates’ journey
Among the perks that we offer
prospective candidates are:
»A competitive salary paid weekly
»Long and short-term contracts
»Holiday pay
»Flexible working hours
»An in-house pension scheme
We are incredibly proud of the fact that,
day-in, day-out, we are represented
by the “cream of the crop” of nursing
staff. All A1 candidates’ skill levels are
constantly maintained to ensure they can
be the best possible fit for any potential
assignment. Those we place range across
all grades and bands of experience
and qualification, and we offer them
challenging experiences which can
continually broaden and supplement
the expertise they alreadyhave.
Our stringent vetting procedure is
fully comprehensive. The registration
process involves a formal interview,
which verifies a prospective candidate’s
skills and identity. We biometrically
scan passports, cross-reference work
permits and driving licences and ensure
that all references and qualifications
correctly equip the candidate for the
assignment in question.
All A1 temporary workers then undergo
the appropriate Disclosure and Barring
Services (DBS) check, and are trained
in both manual handling and cardio-
pulmonary resuscitation. We then ensure
that all candidates are comprehensively
educated across another 29 varied
training fields, including Safeguarding
of Vulnerable Adults and Children
(SOVA and SOCA) qualifications. Once
registration is complete, they are able
to begin work; all trainings are thus
prepared for annual renewal, and failure
to renew within the relevant time frame
means that work is cancelled or stopped.
At the bottom line, we ensure that every
single person we employ or place, no
matter for how long, is appropriately
and legally qualified.
Our accreditations and the
In the recent past, we have
experienced some concerns and
restrictions as a result of the NHS
agency cap. This saw wages and
margins reduced and limited, and
although it proved to be a significant
obstacle, it has not diverted our
attention from achieving the excellent
standards we are otherwise renowned
for. Our stringent vetting process
is still, we believe, one of the most
comprehensive around; in the summer
of 2017, we were audited according
to the national NHS framework and
requirements, and achieved a 100 per
cent compliance rating.
I am personally monumentally proud of
this 100 per cent audit score, and also of
the glowing reputation now recognised
both by the industry, our peers and our
candidates. Following our first feature
The Parliamentary Review
, in 2016,
we are additionally monumentally
proud to have received the same
national recognition for our excellent
service and the specialised areas of
best practice that we truly believe we
have internalised in all wedo.
Our stringent
vetting process
is still, we
believe, one of
the most
In the summer of
2017, we achieved 100
per cent in our NHS
framework audit


This article was sponsored by A1 Medical & General Ltd. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister