Serpent Medical Staffing Solutions
Offering a hybrid network of medical staff, providing bespoke services to the maritime, offshore and security industries on a global basis, Serpent Medical Staffing Solutions is a new company, founded just six months ago, but owing to its qualified and experienced employees and advanced web-based database, this fledgling business has already well and truly flown the nest.
Andrew Turnbull, Managing Director and company founder, has a 25 year history in medicine. He spent a number of years in the Royal Army Medical Corps before joining Greater Manchester Ambulance Service, then providing medical assistance in the Balkans conflict for two years. He joined the North East Ambulance Service in England, prior to his tenure in the Middle East (Dubai, UAE, Kuwait & Iraq 2003-2007), during which he performed close protection duties as a specialist medic with a private security contractor.
Mr Turnbull left the Middle East after sustaining an injury, worked offshore in West Africa , South East Asia and Europe and subsequently set up Serpent Medical Staffing Solutions. As he explained, his first steps to creating this new venture grew directly from his first-hand experience of medical services and providers currently operating within the industry: “The idea came about last year, following my work in the maritime, oil & gas and security industries, where I saw clients being charged a lot of money, but the medics were being paid a standard wage and not being properly awarded for their actual work. It was a simple concept – charge the clients less and pay the medics more, but also contribute towards their continued professional development.”
Serpent Medical can provide bespoke medical services to the Offshore, Maritime and Security industries on an International level as well as in the UK and are committed to providing the highest standard of service at the most competitive rate for their Clients which is achieved through maximum efficiency. The company operates a highly sophisticated web-based service dedicated to fulfilling the individual needs of the Clients. They provide much more than a traditional recruitment agency as the standard service includes a system of medical, administrative and consultancy support.
With a culture focused on the expertise of its staff, Mr Turnbull decided that for every day of work his employees complete, the company puts up to £10 aside towards relevant training and courses. This means over the space of three years, Medics may accrue a contribution of up to £5,500 towards medical courses and STCW ’95 courses etc, which can cost up to £4,000 and must be completed every three years.
Serpent Medical Staffing Solutions is controlled through an extremely effective method of cutting costs with a database which is almost purely computer generated. “We don’t employ large numbers of staff with many unnecessary overheads. Our overall outgoing expenditure on overheads and staffing are minimal,” Mr Turnbull explained.
In addition to Qualified Offshore Medics and Doctors, Serpent Medical Staffing Solutions offers Health and Safety Officers educated up to degree standard from all over the world. Nearly all of the staff employed through the company are mutli-skilled and medical staff are also able to perform equipment checks and inspections and internal audits, as per specific requirements, i.e. Maritime – MSN 1768. Mr Turnbull explained how he would encourage medics to participate in environmental management courses to ensure they are engaged with the impact the gas and oil industry has on the environment.
In general, Medics are concerned with common illnesses and injuries, but are also extremely well-equipped and trained to deal with much more serious incidents: “They deal with general day-to-day issues such as coughs, colds and illnesses as well as giving consultations and weekly health briefings but depending on which part of the world you’re working in you could also be dealing with bites, stings or even malaria. Thankfully, accidents are rare, because of the standard of health and safety onboard. The medics will work on a vessel for a period of time – it could be an ad hoc job on a vessel for a week or it could be for a number of weeks, depending on the needs of the client or shipping company.”
However: does Mr Turnbull believe the industry is becoming more concerned over seafarer health and wellbeing at this time? “Absolutely, because healthy staff are more dedicated staff – both physically and mentally. If you have crew on an installation or onboard a vessel who are fit, happy, healthy and sound of mind, then they are more productive.”