Hywel Dda delivers rapid cost savings on AHP agency spend using data to drive agency sourced employment

In its first year of using Liaison Workforce’s TempRE service for AHPs, Hywel Dda University Health Board increased agency direct employment take up by 150% and saved £148,633.

In its first year of using Liaison Workforce’s TempRE service for AHPs, Hywel Dda University Health Board increased agency direct employment take up by 150% and saved £148,633.


In total AHP savings in 2017/18 through TempRE


AHP agency direct employment Q4 2017/18

Hywel Dda University Health Board covers the Welsh counties of Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire. The Health Board faces a substantial budget deficit, and has been putting measures in place to cut agency spending – which had been steadily rising due to difficulties in recruiting staff.

One urgent challenge was the need to take control of temporary AHP spend. Managers knew spending was too high, and needed to find ways to understand where the money was going and to bring costs down.

Having experienced the TempRE service for medical locums, the Board recognised that the data provided by the system could be key to driving the much-needed AHP cost reductions.

The service went live in Q1 2017/2018. During initial implementation, both Liaison Workforce and the Health Board made training a priority. Working on site, the Liaison Workforce Client Services Team trained more than 90 Hywel Dda staff on how to use the TempRE platform and why it was so important to increase agency direct employment utilisation. As a result, people bought into the new approach and bookers quickly became comfortable with using the system.

Cost savings were apparent right from the start, and the proportion of bookings made through agency direct employment has increased substantially each quarter.

To achieve this rapid rate of progress, Hywel Dda knew it was important to tackle both new and existing bookings. For new bookings, success came from bringing agencies and booking staff on board with the agency direct employment approach. For existing bookings, it was data from the system – as the Health Board had hoped – that proved key.

Managers successfully used TempRE data to identify long term standard agency employment workers and bring them onto PAYE.

The Health Board has had particular success in bringing umbrella workers onto agency sourced employment.

Just a year into the TempRE contract, the results show that the service is delivering both the data and the cost savings hoped for. Progress has been very much a joint effort, with Liaison Workforce providing advice and practical support and committed Health Board managers and staff taking the action needed to make a difference.

Critical steps have included starting to review contract arrangements for long-term temporary agency workers.
As contract renewal dates approach, workers previously on standard agency employment contracts can now be identified, contacted, and transferred to agency direct employment. Significantly, the Health Board has had particular success in agreeing mutually acceptable PAYE arrangements with umbrella workers.

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Hywel Dda University Health Board


Taking control of temporary AHP spend