Since the publication of NHS Improvement's "Agency Rules" in 2016, NHS trusts have successfully cut agency staff spending by over £1 billion.

The Agency Rules require NHS trusts to exclusively use agencies that are on approved NHS frameworks. These framework agreements seek to ensure value for money for the NHS and certainty about the terms and conditions between NHS trusts and agency companies.

To pursue further savings and efficiencies, NHS Improvement have now launched a consultation on the proposals about the use of off-framework agency workers to fill non-clinical and unregistered clinical shifts and the use of admin and estates agency workers.

NHS Improvement propose to:

  1. Require trusts to use only on-framework agencies for non-clinical and unregistered clinical shifts. These roles include healthcare assistants, admin and estates, and some allied health professionals.
  2. Create restrictions on admin and estates agency use. This accounted for 9% of NHS agency spend (£223 million) in 2017/18. As part of these proposals, NHS Improvement propose to require trusts to use bank or substantive/fixed-term workers to fill admin roles, with exemptions for special projects and shortage specialties.

NHS Providers and other stakeholders are asked to respond by 5.00pm on 22 March 2019.

Complete NHS Improvement’s survey here.

Capsticks advise NHS organisations on agency staff arrangements and support them in making changes in agency staff arrangements to comply with NHS Improvement guidelines. We have an excellent track record in reducing and avoiding payment of fees to agencies when staff move to other providers. Please contact John Tippett-Cooper or Jane Barker for more details.