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7th January 2019 in Blog, Latest blog posts

It doesn’t have to be a bleak mid-Winter for the NHS

As the UK braces itself for one of the worst winters on record and with warnings of an increasingly pressurised NHS workforce, our TempRE workforce service can help you to fill shifts across many specialisms, pay workers weekly and book ‘shifts on the go’ during the busiest time of the year.

A quarterly report by NHS Improvement, also revealed a staff shortage of more than 100,000 doctors and nurses, and a combined deficit of £1.2bn. Headlines suggest that hospitals are bringing in GPs, reopening mothballed wards and offering daycare for their staff’s children in a desperate attempt to avoid being overwhelmed this winter.

Planning ahead and changing the way that the NHS recruits temporary workers can help to fend off some of the harsh operating challenges winter brings.  We’ve been working with around 21 NHS trusts in England to improve self-sufficiency by creating their own medical bank of locum workers – increasing their rota gap fill rates and retaining staff at their trusts.

Our TempRE Bank service includes experienced on-site and off-site support plus expert advice and guidance so you can make the most of your staff bank, attract more workers to register, and fill shifts in the most cost effective way. This is underpinned by a strong technology platform giving you real time visibility and reporting.

Setting up an internal medical bank can take as little as 6-8 weeks and through using our TempRE Bank service workers receive weekly pay, can book shifts as they become available via our TempRE app and also benefit from onsite and round the clock helpdesk support should they have any payroll or invoicing queries. Feedback from locums also suggests that they are enjoying the ability to book ‘shifts on the go’ to enable them to plan and manage their workload and finances.

Last winter, one trust we are supporting saw a 38% reduction on the agency spend due to the growth of its own bank.  In Scotland, using our TempRE service NHS Shetland health board beat their own record earlier this year filling all junior doctor posts and fully staffing two health centres with bank workers – reducing the need for agency worker supplier reliance.

Trusts are also seeing efficiencies from collaborating with other trusts within the region and in the north east of England we’re supporting a bank of locum junior doctors across 36 specialities and seven trusts. Our shared bank platform enables NHS trusts and boards to pool their bank staffing resources regionally. This means that those NHS staff wishing to undertake additional shift work can do so at neighbouring trusts as part of a shared bank of temporary workers, rather than as a more expensive agency worker. This empowers and encourages trusts and boards to work more collaboratively.

As the NHS pulls out all the stops to prepare for winter this year, those trusts who have planned ahead and developed their own medical bank will be best placed to protect the good standards of staffing and care that the public have come to expect. And, while we don’t have a magic wand to train more staff to make up the shortage, we do have a solution to help the NHS improve efficiency and fill via the most cost effective resource available.

Jack Mazzina
Sales Director,  Workforce Effectiveness at Liaison