Agency nurses are widely recognised as a vital and highly necessary solution to ensure staffing levels are appropriate, where there is an absence of permanent peers. And, despite the number of nurses in training increasing by 13,748 during this decade, agency nurses still remain in the frontline of the battle to ensure vital patient services are maintained.
However, a recent report by the Royal College of Nursing has found that NHS spending on agency nurses across 168 trusts in England has rapidly increased since 2012, from £327m in 2012/13 to £485m in 2013/14. These increasing costs have led the Commons Public Accounts Committee to warn about the rising cost of temporary medical staff and to recommend that the Department of Health make better use of the NHS’ position as the dominant employer. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has also called for a cap on agency spend.
Partnering with de Poel health+care can help NHS Trusts (and private health care organisations too) support managing agency spend. de Poel health+care acts as an intermediary between health+care are clients and the healthcare agencies that typically supply agency nurses. By sitting between the two parties with a sole focus on recruitment, we are able to take a helicopter view of the margins charged and quality of agency nurses supplied by partner healthcare agencies.
We are then able to set one single, standard transparent rate of pay for each level of agency nurse required by hiring organisations such as NHS Trusts and private health care providers. This approach typically saves de Poel health+care clients up to 20% on their recruitment costs, which using the current spend rate examples discovered by the Royal College of Nursing would be up to £58.2 million.
Importantly de Poel health+care helps to ensure the quality and compliance of agency nurses supplied, through vetting healthcare agencies and conducting extensive audits.