STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Are agency staff to blame for hospital deficits?

In May 2015, the chief executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens, claimed that the entire NHS deficit of £822m in 2014-15 could be accounted for by the “run-up in temporary staffing costs”. Six months into the new financial year, hospitals had overspent by £1.6 billion, the largest NHS deficit ever recorded.

In its report, the hospital regulator, the Trust Development Authority and Monitor, points to ever-growing demand – highlighting an 8% increase in the number of people waiting for treatment, 5% more ambulance calls and a quarter of a percentage point increase in A&E attendances than a year before. “These pressures”, the report says, “coupled with high agency costs for the additional staffing to meet that demand” have compromised the ability of hospitals to manage their finances.

The cost of agency staff has been singled out as the main culprit. Companies providing temporary staff have been accused by the health secretary Jeremy Hunt of “ripping off” the NHS, citing “unscrupulous companies charging up to £3,500 a shift for a doctor”.

The government’s response has been to impose price caps on the hourly rate paid to agency staff. From April 2016, the hourly rate the NHS can pay agency staff will be capped at 55% above the pay levels of permanent staff. Maximum rates have been set out for each staff group. The solution is appealingly simple, but it won’t solve the problem.

Click on the link to read more

http://theconversation.com/are-agency-staff-to-blame-for-hospital-deficits-51605?

The new chief executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens (C) meets staff during a visit to Shotley Bridge Hospital in Consett, northern England April 1, 2014.   REUTERS/Owen Humphreys/Pool   (BRITAIN - Tags: POLITICS HEALTH) - RTR3JHOL

The new chief executive of the NHS, Simon Stevens (C) meets staff during a visit to Shotley Bridge Hospital in Consett, northern England April 1, 2014. 

Filed under: Hospital, ,

NHS agency staff cap ‘to save £1bn’

Ministers have set out details of how they aim to save the NHS £1bn on agency staff costs over the next three years.

In June, the government in England said agency spending was to be capped and it has now unveiled details of how that will work. From April, NHS trusts will not be able to pay more than 55% more to agencies than it costs to pay a member of staff for a shift. It comes amid mounting pressure on NHS finances.

Figures released last week showed trusts had overspent by £930m in the last three months – with agency spending highlighted as one of the biggest factors. Ministers believe the move will save £1bn by April 2018 – the equivalent of shaving 10% from the £3.3bn annual agency bill.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-34520631

_83349444_hi003320082

Filed under: NHS, ,

Blog views to date

  • 92,116 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to The Last Six Months and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,399 other followers

Helpful Pages, Templates etc

Recent Posts

Pages