Agency controls significantly reduce NHS spend on agency staff

The controls we launched in October 2015 are helping the NHS to cut spending on expensive agency staff.

What we've found

Before we introduced the agency control measures, the NHS was on course to spend £4 billion on agency staff. Following their introduction in October 2015:
  • the NHS has saved up to £300 million
  • the average price paid for a nursing shift has dropped by 10% - this adjusts for changes in demand for nurses of different levels of expertise and different timing of shifts
We now expect the NHS to spend a total of £3.7 billion on agency staff by the end of the 2015/16 financial year.

Why the measures have been brought in

Reducing the amount of money hospitals spend on agency staff is a key part of helping trusts to deliver the provider task to 2020.

Our agency controls help to reduce the amount of money spent on agency workers and to encourage staff back into full-time or bank roles within the NHS.

Importantly, they allow for trusts to breach the capped rates for individual agency shifts where there are patient safety issues. Any breaches of the cap are reported to us.

How we're supporting trusts

We've created a package of tools and support to help trusts reduce their spend of agency staff.

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