9th January 2018 in Blog, Latest blog posts

Workforce Bulletin – January

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Discover the latest news and updates on Liaison’s TempRE and STAFFflow services with our Workforce Bulletin.

Live TempRE Clients

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Junior Collaborative Bank – Live

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In December the North East Collaborative Bank, powered by Liaison’s TempRE service, has gone live.

Branded as ‘Flexishift’, this initiative is led by the North East Lead Employer Trust (LET) to put control and structure in place to manage the additional hours worked by junior doctors across the region. There are currently five trusts participating.

Case Study: How One Trust Saved £162,000

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Our latest TempRE case study comes from Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust. Since implementing our services, they have seen drastic improvements in terms of both logistical efficiency and financial saving. The Trust are now on a journey towards developing the model hospital, with TempRE Bank and TempRE Weekly Payroll now also live.

Activ8 and Raet Sign Exciting Workforce Analytics Partnership

Liaison subsidiary Activ8, provider of workforce analytics software, and Raet, a leading provider of HR, Payroll and outsourcing services, have signed a ground-breaking enterprise partnership.

This unique partnership means Liaison and Netherlands-based Raet will share IP ownership. They will jointly fund the Workforce analytics tool, to ensure they develop a world class product, superior to traditional dash-boarding offerings.

Bruce Thew, Chairman of Liaison and Raet’s CEO Kobe Verdonck

Liaison Scoops Top Award

At ‘The Rewards’ ceremony in November we were announced as ‘Specialist Payroll & HR Provider Team of the Year’ for the second year in a row.

This is a real testament to the hard work and dedication by our service centre teams. Over the past 18 months we have undergone a significant change in the service centre with the introduction of new technology and Workforce interventions to deliver greater customer service into our client base and make Liaison a great place to work for our colleagues.

Security Update

All security aspects of the TempRE system have been recently tested by an external specialist company to ensure that data in TempRE remains secure and the system cannot be hacked.

We are delighted to say that no major security issues were found and we have adopted all recommendations for improvement contained within their report.

The audit was carried out by Perspective Risk which is a member of the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST) and is bound by its code of conduct.

Market Update

In NHS news…

NHS Improvement (NHSI) addressed a letter to trust CEOs, Financial Directors and HR Directors to explain the work that they will be doing to support the sector in improving and expanding the use of staff banks across all providers.

To improve bank fill rates further and increase the proportion of spend moving away from agency, NHSI will be working with trusts in two key areas:

1) Increasing the proportion of trusts that possess an active medical staff bank

NHSI is working with regional teams to identify a cohort of around 30 trusts currently with significant medical agency spend that have either no bank arrangements or one that has a relatively low fill rate, with the aim of having a medical bank at least significantly under development by the end of December.

2) Increasing the coverage of collaborative bank arrangements

NHSI will be working with 14 STP regions to introduce a collaborative bank by the end of December, so that more shifts are able to be filled by bank staff, therefore preventing agency spend and thus making savings.

Our proven TempRE Bank model is now live in 16 trusts. We’ve developed a rapid deployment programme meaning that trusts can now be live with a bank or collaborative bank solution in just six weeks.

One trust in the North West is now seeing a bank fill rate of 56%, and year on year is achieving a 64% reduction in medical locum agency spend through TempRE Bank.

Did you know?

The tax advisors’ letter from HMRC

Chris Young, Finance Director of the Department of Health (DoH), has circulated a letter seeking to clarify the Department of Health’s and Government’s view on the use of tax advisors, with reference to tax avoidance.

The letter focusses on avoidance by way of making goods or services that would otherwise attract VAT, that was not recoverable via the Contracted-Out Service (COS) rules becoming recoverable, often through a special purpose vehicle (SPV).

The STAFFflow and TempRE Direct Engagement service does not result in VAT that would otherwise not be recoverable becoming recoverable as a result. The objective of our temporary staff integrated bank and employment solutions is to control and reduce the cost of temporary staff.

‘Direct engagement’ refers to how some organisations engage temporary workers either as employees or as contractors on short fixed-term contracts. Employing staff through a staff bank or as employees sourced from agencies does not incur VAT. For contractors, again a trust can engage with any third-party contractor to provide services as and when required. If the contractor is VAT registered then VAT is due on the charge raised by the supplier.

HMRC have thoroughly reviewed the STAFFflow service in both 2016 and 2012 without recourse.

Many medical locums are already in the employ of the NHS. The NHS has not been funded to rehire it’s own staff for additional duties with commission and VAT on top.

Liaison’s temporary staff systems are built to maintain and in some cases, reinstitute the employment relationship with the NHS ensuring tax and NI is paid in an appropriate manner.

Far from being tax avoidance the systems ensure the exchequers coffers are properly filled with tax from both PAYE and PSCs in accordance with PAYE and IR35 rules.

NHSI reporting on bank data

In early October, NHSI issued revised guidance on the provision of their weekly data collection. The guidance states that:

“Data supplied by trusts around bank usage should include all shifts during the reporting week that have been identified as needing to be covered. Including all shifts that are filled by bank, collaborative bank, agency, overtime, changing the rota, and those that are left unfilled.”

Following receipt of this guidance, our inhouse Data and Reporting team were able to produce this data, in just eight days, for all TempRE Bank enabled client trusts unable to collate this information themselves.

Two years has now passed since NHSI introduced pay caps for agency staff and NHSI has highlighted the progress NHS organisations have made in reducing nursing agency expenditure, however when it comes to medical agency expenditure there is work to be done and latest advice has made it clear that medical bank resources is the solution.

Our proven TempRE Collaborative Bank model is now live in 16 trusts. Due to market demands, we’ve developed a rapid deployment programme meaning that trusts can now be live with a bank or collaborative bank solution in just six weeks.

Our clients understand the value in choosing a supplier who is proven. Over the last 12 months Liaison has been working NHS organisations to reduce their reliance on agency workers by developing their own medical bank or collaborative bank resources. One trust in the North West is now seeing a bank fill rate of 56%, and year on year is achieving a 64% reduction in medical locum agency spend through TempRE Bank.

For more information about our solution for developing medical banks and regional collaborative banks in the NHS please get in contact.

Liaison Launches TempRE Rostering with Pilots in Several Trusts

Liaison is piloting the new TempRE Rostering product in several NHS trusts which allows them to roster all of their medical staff and highlight shortfalls which can be filled by Bank, Collaborative Bank or Agency staff – all through TempRE.

This service is the latest addition to Liaison’s portfolio of workforce services, enabling medical units to roster shifts, on-call, annual leave, study leave and sickness, easily and efficiently. Being built on the TempRE framework ensures that all unfilled gaps in the roster are easily turned into vacancies to be filled through TempRE.

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Another benefit over manual rostering systems is that it produces regular reports, therefore saving money by removing the need for staff to manually compile them and increasing their accuracy.


Benefits of TempRE Rostering include:

  • Simple, user friendly interface to design and run your rosters
  • Easily apply shift patterns, booked annual leave, study leave etc.
  • Easily spot when Working Time Directive rules have been breached
  • Easily spot your over and under staffing in advance
  • Add sickness as it happens and manage the replacement
  • Print off a staffing schedule for a day, a weekend or a week
  • Senior staff can authorise vacant shifts to be filled
  • Once authorised vacant shifts are seamlessly exported into TempRE to be filled by Bank or Agency staff
  • Once vacancies are fulfilled, the Bank or Agency staff details are shown on the roster and in reports
  • Efficiently generate Bank / Agency staff cost reports and staff sickness / absence reports

TempRE User Focus Group

We will be raising some points for discussion in the TempRE user group to seek feedback on the following:

• Phase 2 requirements for Multi Worker Portal

• General system interaction to assist with the redesign of the TempRE application.

If you are already a member of the TempRE User Focus Group please keep an eye out for an email detailing the above. If you would like to join this group please contact our TempRE Product Manager, Chris Sherwood.