Posted on November 25, 2015

Agency spending cap to come into effect

From 30th November the cap on nursing agency spending comes into effect in the hope that NHS trusts can save millions over the next few years. NHS trusts will only be able to pay nursing agencies and other temporary staff a maximum of 55% more per shift than they would spend on a permanent nurse or other member of staff. At the present time agency spending is putting pressure on the NHS; however, a shortage of qualified and experienced staff is a real problem for the health service and agencies do fill this gap. The targets that have been set by the government for a reduction in nursing agency spending are likely to be difficult for some trusts. There had been reports of some trusts paying thousands at a time for the services of temporary staff and the deficit for 2015-16 currently stands at £1.6bn. The limit for the cost per shift will be in place from Monday and will apply to all personnel working in a hospital, ensuring that the NHS can improve care quality and continue to invest in frontline staff. The chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said the introduction of a spending limit for temporary staff is the right move and he has approved the plans to phase in the spending cap so that trusts can adjust over a period of time. The changes can be monitored closely so that the impact on individual trusts can be assessed.
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