Responding to yesterday’s Government announcement on the launch of new rules to reduce agency spend in the NHS, Ann Swain, Chief Executive of The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) says:
“Despite engaging with The Department of Health to offer the benefit of our and our members’ knowledge and experience of working on large public sector procurement contracts, to help the Department find practical solutions to the NHS’ current staffing predicament, the Government has instead chosen not to consult with the sector and come up with what I can only describe as a knee jerk reaction."
"It’s not enough for the Government to look at the recruitment supply chain as the whole problem. The rising cost of temporary staff in the NHS is caused not only by recruitment supply chain issues, but also by a more complex set of circumstances and is, in APSCo’s view, a symptom of ineffective workforce planning in the NHS, and a wider issue regarding clinical skills and staffing shortages in the UK.”
“Limiting annual spend on agency workers is all very well, but this doesn’t address the ongoing shortage of staff within the NHS. Without other measures, trusts will be forced to engage lower quality staff as the ceiling is approached.”
“We do welcome the mandatory use of frameworks, but this alone, without properly managing supply chains and working in partnership with recruitment firms to ensure that all parties are committed to the success of the aims of the framework, is unlikely to solve all their problems. “
“Limiting the spend on individual staff is positive as long as it is not just a blanket measure applied without any intelligence. Rate bands for specific roles can work extremely well, but usually only in situations where there is a relatively small, engaged supply chain that is committed to the success of the client’s aims.”
“We cautiously welcome the Government’s plans but we would suggest that they do not deal with the commercial realities of large supply chains, and Government needs to do more to work in partnership with the recruitment sector. We continue to offer our services to the Department of Health to give our expertise on recruitment supply chain management.”
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