New Year: New Habits – 3 New NHS resolutions to keep

1 January 2019

We’ve been working with over a quarter of NHS trusts in England to support them in adopting better habits around how they recruit, manage and retain their temporary workforce, with encouraging results. So, here’s three New Year’s resolutions we’re very happy to support.

1. Spend Less
Our workforce advisory services have saved the NHS over £130m. Trusts and health boards using our agency direct employment model have seen huge savings compared to the more expensive standard placement route for temporary workers. Our recent Taking the Temperature report shows that trusts could save up to £320 per shift for a consultant simply by switching the way the worker is employed. They’d save even more if they were able to sign that worker up to a medical bank – converting all locum hours to bank could save the NHS up to £92 million a year.

2. Make New Friends
This year we’ve seen trusts and health boards coming together in a pioneering project to drive down agency worker costs and share staff. The collaborative bank approach in the North East and North Cumbria has seen seven trusts come together to reduce reliance on agency workers by sharing staff across 41 specialties.

We’re also enabling collaboration in the NHS through trusts and health boards opting into the Liaison Workforce NHS Director’s Booking Rate Index. This workforce tool represents Liaison Workforce’s analysis of key agency rates for locum bookings that require director level or above approval. The NHS Directors’ Booking Rate Index presents an NHS organisations own bookings and offers anonymised benchmarking too. Crucially this free Liaison Workforce report is based on booked data enabling trusts to take any necessary action before the work is undertaken. One trust was able to save £21,000 on a single locum booking and another trust saved c£16,000 commission on a single booking.

3. Take a more active approach to health
Of course, we know what this really means – looking after your body through exercise and nutrition but a lot has to be said for looking after your mental health too. Throughout the year we have seen newspaper headlines of how NHS workers are suffering with mental health issues due to stress in the workplace.

We’d like to think we support the NHS by developing the tools and analytics to make managing the workforce easier. Our TempRE bank solution creates greater self-sufficiency within NHS organisations to fill gaps in the rota with existing staff and has been proven to drive consistency in and retention of the workers and also improving the patient experience.

Stick to the Plan!

Above all, the best way to stick to a New Year’s resolution is to make a plan. This means checking that your resolutions are:

  • Specific – I want to reduce my agency reliance by 38%
  • Measurable – I will fill my locum junior doctor posts with bank staff
  • Achievable – I want to cut average agency commission rates by £6.94ph
  • Realistic – I am going to provide all agency direct employment locums with app-based technology so that they can book shifts on the go
  • Exciting – I’m going to reduce temporary worker spend by £175,488 so that I can reinvest that money into frontline patient care and improve the workplace for patients and workers
  • Is the goal recorded? I’m going to demonstrate my efficiency savings by producing a case study to share this best practice with other trusts and health boards

And how do we know that this plan is attainable? Because every one of the steps above has been achieved by a Liaison Workforce customer in 2018. Talk to us about how we can help your trust to create new workforce habits in 2019.

Jack Mazzina,
Business Development Director

Liaison Workforce