Enabling national tracking of COVID-19 through a large scale workforce solution

Enabling national tracking of COVID-19 through a large scale workforce solution

Acacium Group’s workforce service supported the production of R-rate reporting throughout the pandemic


  • More than 1,600 staff recruited, with over 700 staff deployed weekly
  • 44 workers mobilised within three days’ notice, scaling up to over 100 workers within seven days across the UK
  • Enabled 385,000 households to be visited, collecting 763,000 unique samples

The challenge

Working in partnership with the Office of National Statistics (ONS), our client was required to collect sputum and blood samples from households across the UK. These samples were essential in understanding the regional prevalence of COVID-19.

The rapid and safe collection of samples was critical to the validity of the ONS R-rate data required to inform Government policy and protect the public. Without the right clinical staff in place to collect the samples, our client was unable to capture this data on a national scale at an urgent pace.

Why Acacium Group

A market-leading specialist in rapid workforce mobilisation, Acacium Group is the UK’s leading healthcare workforce partner. Providing our client with access to the largest database of experienced multi-disciplinary healthcare workers ensured our client could collect as many samples as possible in a safe, quick and efficient way.

Being operational 24/7, Acacium Group was able to provide an initial proposal within hours of the after-hours request and mobilised a workforce within 3 days.

The solution

Acacium Group mobilised cohorts of experienced nurses and phlebotomists to obtain samples from people’s homes. All staff were fully compliant and had further training following the client’s training programme. Initially, the project scope was for the population of England, but as the pandemic unfolded, there was a requirement to capture this data UK wide.

“COVID-19 Infection Survey (CIS) has gone on to become the world leading, gold standard survey utilised by the experts and the government to help determine the path through COVID-19 and will become part of the governments ‘living with COVID-19 strategy. Acacium Group have contributed significantly to the delivery needs of the survey and delivered both the quantity and quality of visits required. Acacium Group have shown their ability to flex, mobilise staff at short notice and to continually adapt to the changing asks”
Service Delivery Director, COVID-19 Infection Survey


Overcoming workforce shortages

The pandemic has put an unprecedented strain on the health industry globally. As a result, there was a shortage of clinical staff, making large scale clinical projects more difficult to execute at short notice. Despite this, Acacium Group were able to fulfil the staffing requirements recruiting 1600 staff in total, with an average of 700 staff deployed weekly. This scale of workforce allowed our client to track COVID-19 accurately on a national scale.

Urgent requirements met with rapid mobilisation

The rapidly changing nature of the virus required an urgent response to better understand how to manage it. Harnessing the UK’s largest database of experienced healthcare staff, Acacium Group mobilised 44 workers across the UK within three days’ notice, scaling to over 100 workers within seven days. This meant samples and data were ready within days, giving our client the resources to track and support the Government’s COVID-19 response.

Cost-effective delivery partner

Remaining responsive to the needs of our client, Acacium Group were able to make operational efficiencies as the pandemic continued. Several specialist businesses across Acacium Group came together to deliver effective planning and forecasting replacing the rapid response staffing model with a long-term scaling workforce model, retaining the speed and scale of the initial roll out. This resulted in our client receiving a 16.5% cost saving from the initial service.

This was a gradual transition with no impact on operational delivery. Our client experienced no change to their service, with their single point of contact remaining throughout. The volume of samples recorded per shift increased as the Acacium Group optimised its workforce model to use staff efficiently. These changes resulted in cost savings for the client, ensuring the project was commercially viable.

National tracking through a national solution

Our client required samples across the national population to ensure tracking provided accurate regional insight. Acacium Group deployed a national workforce, enabling 385,000 households to be visited, collecting 763,000 unique samples. This large-scale data collection enabled the client to effectively track COVID-19 across the UK, supporting the COVID-19 response.

A global healthcare delivery partner

Delivering measurable impact for more than 35 years, our workforce solutions enable our clients to deliver large-scale projects with confidence.

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