Free Tool Launched to Save NHS Trusts Thousands on Temporary Worker Costs

Liaison’s NHS Directors’ Booking Rate Index provides NHS organisations with new actionable insights into their future temporary staff bookings enabling them to quickly identify excessive pay rates or commission costs associated with ‘plugging the workforce gaps’ and potentially negotiate or switch resources to bring costs down.

Liaison’s Managing Director Andrew Armitage comments: “We’re receiving a great response from the 76 NHS trusts who are using the free NHS Directors’ Booking Rate Index. It has already had an impact at one trust where we flagged a future booking at a cost of £113 per hour, significantly over the NHS Improvement rate cap. The trust investigated the booking and was able to reduce the hourly rate by 25 per cent - saving £21,000 on a single locum booking.”

Representing Liaison’s analysis of key agency rates for shift bookings that require director level or above approval, (in accordance with NHS Improvement rules) the NHS Director’s Booking Rate Index report presents an NHS organisation’s own data but, crucially, offers benchmarking too. Sharing information between organisations and presenting it broken down by anonymised organisation, agency code, NHS specialty and grade. The index compares trusts anonymously to enable directors to benchmark their activity against regional peer groups, STP cohorts, similar trusts or by service i.e. mental health.

Andrew Armitage continues: “Seeing if they are booking under or over the average rate in their region is a previously unknown benchmark and NHS trusts are finding this insight invaluable. This information is helping procurement and medical staffing teams to agree lower rates moving forward. One trust identified that it was paying higher than average commission rates and negotiated a reduction with the agency – saving c£16,000 pa.”

The Liaison NHS Directors’ Booking Rate Index appears to be having a definite effect from the feedback received from a Director of Finance at one trust who commented: ‘‘I love and hate the Directors’ Booking Rate Index. I hate that we are booking such expensive locums but I love that the report highlights bookings the Trust should potentially review and gives us time to do something about it.’

Andrew Armitage concludes: “We’ve been working with the NHS for 30 years and our workforce effectiveness services have delivered significant savings for the NHS. We’re pleased to be able to offer all NHS trusts and boards the opportunity to see what this new report can do. The NHS Directors’ Booking Rate Index has the potential to further transform temporary workforce costs throughout the NHS, freeing up more cash for investment in patient care.”

About the Liaison NHS Director’s Booking Rate Index:

As part of a National Programme of work Liaison first provided a Weekly NHS Directors’ Booking Rate Index Report to organisations in the South East of England, as part of a pilot scheme with NHS Improvement. 

Since the end of the pilot Liaison has developed the report for their workforce effectiveness clients in other UK regions and continued to provide this report free of charge to other NHS organisations so that they can continue to benefit from the insights it provides for as long as each organisation wishes to remain opted in. 

For more information contact Liaison on 0845 803 9000 or visit

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