Connecting to LinkedIn...


The Industry Responds To The McKinsey Report on NHS Staffing

The Industry Responds To The McKinsey Report on NHS Staffing

Commenting on the McKinsey report, Richard MacMillan, CEO of health and social care staffing solutions provider PULSE, said:

At a time when demand for frontline services is rapidly increasing and our wards are already suffering from staff shortages, it is hugely concerning to see that staffing is one of the areas identified for potential cuts by the leaked McKinsey report.

Research shows strong links between staffing levels and health outcomes so NHS Trusts should look to identify cost savings in their recruitment processes before cutting frontline staff. Healthcare professionals are already under increasing pressure at work, largely due to their departments being severely under-resourced so making sure our wards are adequately staffed has to be a top priority.

There are a number of inefficiencies in the recruitment of healthcare workers that should be tackled before staffing cuts are even considered. The NHS can learn from the private sector but instead continues to fund a loss-making in-house staffing service NHS Professionals which lost 10.3 million last year with cumulative losses in the last five years adding up to 99.6m. Removing inefficient and expensive services such as this and giving local hospitals the freedom to choose the best price and highest quality of staff available is key to identifying and delivering budget savings, without compromising patient care.

PULSE works with a number of NHS Trusts to improve efficiency and drive down costs through strategic workforce planning. Implementing clear, long-term workforce optimisation strategies is vital to ensuring cost efficiency. Without such strategies, the NHS will continue to suffer the financial burden of inefficient staffing solutions and patients will miss out on the high-quality care and vital support they are entitled to.

HCL: NHS staff cuts would require more flexible workers

HCL plc, the UKs largest specialist health and social care staffing company, said today that the NHS would need to significantly increase its use of flexible staffing if a public sector spending squeeze led to significant job cuts among permanent frontline staff.

HCL was responding to reports that the Department of Health has been advised by consultancy firm McKinsey and Company that the NHS in England would need to slash around 10% of its workforce (equating to 137,000 jobs) if it is to is to achieve its planned 20bn savings by 2014.

However, HCL said today that frontline services would not have to be affected if the NHS were to take a more innovative approach towards workforce management by using a greater proportion of flexible healthcare staff alongside its permanent workforce.

Kate Bleasdale, Executive Vice Chairman of HCL, commented:

This report highlights an important issue. HCL has consistently pointed out that the NHS simply cannot sustain the current level of spending on full time staff.

Agency healthcare staff cost the taxpayer far less than full time public sector workers, as they are only paid for the hours that they work and do not receive the hugely expensive pension provisions and other public sector benefits. Of the 54 bn which was spent on paying NHS staff in 2007-8, only 1.8% was spent on clinical agency staff.

More and more of our clients are now recognising that agency staff are an extremely cost-effective option and many NHS Trusts now have a policy of deliberately maintaining an appropriate vacancy factor in their workforce so they can manage staff numbers efficiently to meet the peaks and troughs of demand for clinical services. We have always advised that the optimum vacancy factor should be 10 - 15%.

The fact is that the planned usage of agency staff is integral to NHS workforce management and will become more so as public sector budgetary constraints make themselves felt in the years ahead. Its time the Government recognised this and made it easier for Trusts to work directly with agencies and get the staff they need to maintain frontline services for patients.


Articles similar to

Articles similar to