Cost of heathcare agency worker compliance tops 250m a year
Independent figures show that for each agency worker employed on a temporary contract, Trusts have to pay in excess of £500 per annum to ensure they’re compliant – regardless of whether the employee works for one shift, or over a longer period of time.
In the UK, the cost of compliance for non-permanent staff is the responsibility of the employer or, more commonly, the supplying recruitment agency. This costs the NHS in excess of £250 million a year representing over 10 per cent of the overall cost of the annual agency spend across the health service.
Andrew Preston, managing director of de Poel Clarity which commissioned the research, said,“The cost of compliance currently falls firmly on the shoulders of NHS Trusts. This expense swells further due to the transient nature of non-permanent staff.
“As it stands, compliance is only valid for that individual employer or recruitment agency, regardless of the length of the temporary employment contract. If that worker moves to another employer or agency, then that compliance process will have to be repeated from the beginning.”
Preston has called for changes to be made to the way in which compliance is handled in the NHS – transferring the responsibility to individual workers. This would allow them to move from one Trust to another in any given period, reducing the costs currently being picked up by health service providers.
He added, “With the annual agency spend topping £2.5 billion alone, and with the latest industry figures showing that many Trusts will be in financial difficulties in 2014, the need to implement clear, transparent and more streamlined processes, is absolutely essential.”
A recent report from the King’s Fund think-tank has revealed that one in five NHS hospitals are set to go into deficit by the end of the financial year. The report showed that 30 out of 62 Trusts are facing a deficit, as they struggle to balance their books.
de Poel Clarity is a Cheshire-based independent and vendor neutral expert in managing temporary workforces in the NHS and private health and care sectors. It recently completed the landmark acquisitions of compliance companies CompliWithUs Limited and Compliance Passport Limited.