Taking the Temperature on Temporary Staffing

Taking the Temperature on Temporary Staffing featured image

Against a backdrop of the pandemic, staff shortages, strikes and waiting lists, the NHS is faced with a multitude of workforce challenges, whilst managing the ongoing reliance and spiralling cost of temporary staff.

Latest figures from NHS England indicate record spending of £8.17bn on temporary staffing in 2021/22, up 40% since 2018/19. In July, NHSE reported 15 of the NHS’s 42 integrated care systems have a combined deficit plan of £720m in 2023/24, showing that positive action to reduce temporary worker spend is needed to help make a dent in reducing budget deficits.

With this, Liaison Workforce has compared the hourly rates paid for temporary medical workers and quantified the relative savings that trusts are achieving through the bank model. The report is based on booking data from more than a quarter of trusts in England, representing over 3.5m hours, in its first Taking the Temperature report since before the pandemic.

Based on our analysis, trusts across England could save up to £68m per year by switching agency shifts to bank shifts.

The recently published NHS Long Term Workforce Plan aims to reduce “the reliance on temporary staffing in FTE (full-time equivalent) terms …from 9% in 2021/22 to around 5% from 2032/33 onwards, with mostly bank staff fulfilling the requirement for temporary staffing.”

Both NHS England and Liaison’s own data shows that significant savings can be made with the increased use of banks, resulting in trusts achieving better value for money and providing better continuity of care for patients. Further savings can also be realised by moving long-term agency workers to their substantive workforce.

Liaison Workforce’s Managing Director, Judith Shaw, says: “Where savings can be made for the trusts, whilst also meeting NHSE’s aims to reduce temporary staffing levels, the message is clear that the increased use of banks is a necessary step for managing workforces.”

To read the 2022/23 Taking the Temperature report, please visit: https://www.liaisongroup.com/taking-the-temperature-report/

  • Leadership and Management
  • Leadership and Management > Finance and Efficiency
  • Leadership and Management > Finance and Efficiency > Cost efficiency savings
  • Leadership and Management > Workforce
  • Commissioning and Procurement
  • Commissioning and Procurement > Liaison, Procurement
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