Healthcare agencies providing external staffing to the NHS are claiming the institution inflated the rates it pays for the bank shifts. This has subsequently led to them cancelling out profits made from switching provision in-house.
NHS Improvement has been depending a lot on provider trusts over the years to curb the expense on agency staff, introduce price caps; all while suggesting banking services to trust staffs which underpays and overworks them to complete shift hours.
The agencies have shared with a leading journal on health care about the evidence they possess against trust banks pegging rates higher above the allowed cap.
Tom Hadley, director for policy at NHSI Recruitment and Employment Confederation in his letter to the journal called this change to be anticompetitive as it kills one.
NHSI, accepting there was some sort of inflation, said it has been supervising bank transactions from October 2017, maintaining no increase past the board. NHSI’s Q3 performance report on bank staffing in the service sector shows a spending of £2.2bn – the figures that were £1.8bn in Q3 2016.
The fiscal deficit on bank staffing is, £843m. Predicted spends being £2.8bn. Following a statement released by NHSI, this flux only signifies many vacancies, sick leaves and staffing movements.
Mr Hadley’s letter states the entire fiasco as potentially threatening the interests, framing which the NHSI was started. They believe it only encourages to break more of taxpayer money. Hadley blamed bank offering rates to be the catalyst to such inadmissible change which brought forth the inflation. The cause of the disparity was attributed to
“We have seen strong evidence that this disparity is actually increasing as a result of banks offering rates far exceeding those previously offered by agencies. We understand that NHSI is already looking into this and would welcome a confirmation that the price caps will now apply to banks and specific details on timescales.”
The REC represents 600 specialist healthcare agencies.
A leading agency boss from the REC which represents 600 leading healthcare services agencies said
“I do not believe that any real savings have been delivered at all. It is also important to note that bank staff attract additional costs associated to pensions, holiday entitlement, and the costs associated with running the banks. The lack of compliance undertaken by the banks is concerning. Banks do not appear to be undertaking any ongoing compliance checks of bank workers. With the amount of staff now working via banks this is a real cause for concern for public and patient safety.”
The spokesperson at NHSI quoted “A key priority of our agency programme is to move trusts’ spending on agency workers onto bank and substantive staff; and we’ve have had some excellent success at this in recent years (…) Moving staff from agency to bank is better for patients, fairer for staff and cheaper for taxpayers. Providing patients with safe care is the responsibility of trusts regardless of the type of worker who is delivering it. So, we expect trust boards to assure themselves around this by the use of robust internal audit and the implementation of strong management and governance systems.”
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