A recent sample of North West Trust’s ranked Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust as the top performer in reducing the amount being spent on clinical agencies.
The Temporary Staffing Department is a large team with both clinical and admin workers registered who work in various placements within their local areas. The team also provides bank workers to NHS facilities outside of the Trust. The Trust was ranked the top performer for reducing clinical agency spend by providing a temporary staffing service seven days a week.
A number of years ago the Trust won the contract for community services in Central and Pennine Lancashire. This contract almost doubled Trust’s workforce and put an increasing demand on the staff bank as the organisations transferring over did not have viable staff banks and relied heavily on agency use, the increase in workforce then resulted in a doubling on agency spend. To address this The Temporary Staffing began a review of the service in order to identify the changes needed to increase the bank fill rate and reduce agency usage.
As part of the review the department recruited extra staff to the team who focused on advertising, interviewing, recruiting and providing a controlled place for bookings. The service is provided seven days a week until 10pm which eliminates the need for managers to contact external agencies. The department has also improved bank work engagement by introducing drop in support sessions and is due to launch a site for workers to access information. Any vacant shifts at the Trust can now be notified to bank workers by text, email or can be accessed online on smart phones and tablets.
This year the Trust has managed to reduce clinical agency spend to 17% since the 38% back in 2013.
Wendy Simpson, Temporary Staffing Manager at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust said:
“Prior to this piece of work, The Temporary Staffing Bank was fragmented and new contract wins meant that our workforce increased, putting a high demand on agency usage. In order to address the issue, the team worked extremely hard to ensure that all functions were providing by one team, allowing for greater control of advertising and central control of agency usage. This has proved to be successful as demonstrated by the increase in the number of shifts filled with bank workers and reduction in agency usage.
“Being part of our Temporary Staffing Bank means that people can work flexibly around their personal lives, it provides variety in the location of work and means people are able to choose what shifts they want to work and when. Not only do people gain NHS experience, but working on the bank can lead to jobs with longer term contracts. Meaning when a permanent opportunity opens up, bank staff are perfectly placed to fill the role.
“By providing a Temporary Staffing Bank we are able to actively recruit people of all ages, background and levels of experience. This supports us to understand the different needs of our patients and enables us to provide the highest quality of care and treatment!”
The Team is actively building on the success to date and is now looking continue this work and look at addressing the medical agency spend by increasing the size of the medical staffing bank. The Trust also plans to look at collaborating with neighbouring Trust’s top streamline agency bookings.
For more information about the Trust’s Temporary Staffing Department please visit www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/temporary-staffing-bank.