Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
TempRE Bank – reducing cost, improving visibility
As a trust we never just stand still and so agency spend management is a continual rolling piece of work. We always challenge our thinking, evaluate our success and look for the next steps to take and how we can improve. We’ve found there are strong benefits to taking a real focus on our agency spending and working hard at it.
“You need good software, yes, but also a strong team to support you in implementation and beyond that.”
One key thing we’ve learned is that it’s about more than just installing some software. You need good software, yes, but also a strong team to support you in implementation and beyond that. It takes a lot of resource to help embed new processes and make change happen at a trust and this is where Liaison has really delivered for us. The Trust didn’t want someone to just provide a software system and then walk away, and Liaison didn’t do that.
We implemented the STAFFflow direct engagement service a few years ago. It’s been a real success and our partnership with Liaison has enabled us to look at new ideas and approaches with them.
As a continuation of our relationship with Liaison we recently upgraded to the TempRE platform because we felt it could deliver real benefits to us. Now, all of our medical locum temporary staffing bookings go through TempRE. A key driver was for one system for all of our Medical Locum bookings that has also provided full visibility of all our medical locum spend across the Trust, whether it is through direct engagement or via an agency.
Having all of our bookings in one place also means no separately raised orders which really helps in our rate control. TempRE now enables us to see the whole picture and for us to generate in-depth reporting for the entirety of Medical Locum spend.
From TempRE to TempRE Bank
Our temporary staffing journey as a trust has been huge and as part of the TempRE implementation we’re including agency disbursements and vacancy release too. This is where we can make enhancements to our service that help us to become more efficient, reduce workload and outsource activity that would otherwise be extremely time consuming. Our next step is TempRE Bank and how we manage our bank staff at the Trust to help continue our journey towards self-sufficiency. Liaison has really supported us on that journey so we’re pleased to be continuing it with their team alongside us.
We’ve found that to make real savings and to change behaviours you need to continually drive utilisation. To do this takes real focus, commitment and resource, and that’s where Liaison makes a difference. Direct engagement was new to us but is now considered ‘business as usual’ in our Trust. As a result of this we’ve taken the opportunity to do more, thanks to the new ideas that have been presented to us by Liaison. One of the main contributory factors has been the confidence we’ve had in the service and in particular, the people involved and what they’ve done for us. Service drives everything for Liaison and that’s what we benefit from.
“The entire Client Services team at Liaison have been really responsive and we’ve had plenty of support with everything.”
The entire Client Services team at Liaison has been really responsive and we’ve had plenty of support with everything: step by step implementation; process mapping; systems training for our medical staffing teams; reporting; onsite visits to help explain to other Trust staff what we’re doing and much more. We have an excellent working relationship with our Liaison Account manager and benefit from a fast, responsive service along with regular, productive meetings. This responsiveness means any issues have been swiftly dealt with often on the same day.
Liaison take the time to understand what we need and then get on and implement it which is a big time saving factor for us. Our service doesn’t seem to be ‘one size fits all’ or just some implemented software. Liaison really has made it their business to understand our needs and drivers as a trust and to then shape their service to meet those needs for us. One small example of this is if we identify any outliers (agency staff bookings made outside our set parameters) in our reporting – Liaison will go and speak to the agencies on our behalf and ensure that these are reconsidered and booked appropriately in future.
We’ve worked very closely with Liaison on the reporting and have been able to shape the reports we get and their team have really listened to what we need and then delivered. For example, the NHS Improvement rate cap reporting could have been time-consuming for us but we now get this specific data sent directly to us that we can simply report back with. We also developed a bespoke daily report on future bookings which helps us to identify outliers early and gives us the opportunity to question bookings internally before they take place; do we really need that locum for that length of time, at that rate? It’s a great snapshot of booking activity and drills right into the detail. Getting this report means we can act on it before the invoice arrives and it helps change thinking across the booking teams.
We receive the right reports at the right time, and they are automated. We also take part in Liaison’s Reporting Steering Group alongside other trusts whereby the group helps shape future reporting requirements. For example, with the formation of the new STPs we are taking a Cheshire and Merseyside cluster approach and looking at a broader footprint than just our own.
“To those trusts considering working with Liaison and the TempRE service, I’d strongly recommend it. Their approach would be of benefit across the NHS and can deliver great results if you open your eyes to the possibilities and look at the potential.”
Alison Parker, Head of Procurement, Warrington and Halton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.