Magazine article Public Finance

Get a Grip on Agency Staff Costs, Hospital FDs Told

Magazine article Public Finance

Get a Grip on Agency Staff Costs, Hospital FDs Told

Article excerpt

Hospital finance chiefs need to do more to "get a grip" on agency spending to improve the financial sustainability of the health service, NHS Improvement has said.

Speaking to PF, NHS Improvement economics director Chris Mullin said staff agency rules, introduced in October, including price caps for all staff, had begun to control spending.

The watchdog's figures showed that the expenditure controls saved £290111 between October and February, compared to the expected cost without action. The caps were introduced last November, then reduced in both February and April.

Mullin said this was a dramatic change, particularly given that the period included winter months when a seasonal spike in staffing would be expected,

There had been "a bit of a lack of grip" on agency spending in the NHS, he said and the spending controls (which trusts can breach for patient safety reasons) had helped to correct this.

"The financial discipline you might expect in a lot of organisations was just not there in many NHS trusts," he said. …

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