In 2016, the Trust faced many challenges including high agency rates due to their coastal location, lack of compliance with NHSI agency caps, and low utilisation of change to agency direct employment. Within the first year, the Trust was able to cut both rates and spend.
“Our coastal location has always brought about more challenges in recruitment than we see faced throughout the rest of the region. It also has an impact in that we’re not in a major conurbation so are considered a fringe trust within the Cheshire and Merseyside STP. In early 2016 both our agency spend and hourly rates were at unsustainable levels, we knew we needed to make considerable improvements.”
In April 2017, the Trust implemented TempRE, to help drive down costs and regain control. “As part of the adoption of the TempRE system, our directors and clinical leads worked collectively to agree holding rate limits for all medical locum grades and also introduced a 50% rate for offsite on-call rates. Our Director of Finance, acted as the key ‘break glass director’ helping clinical leads and medical staffing push back on rates or seek alternative sources of supply, which ultimately helped us to achieve such a marked success in our cost reduction.”
The strict internal processes put in place by the team at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, with the support of their Liaison Workforce onsite team, has meant that staff are able to push back on rates or identify other methods of supply where costs are creeping too high. The medical staffing team can now proudly prove a decrease in core consultancy hourly rates by more than 20% year on year, with medical agency direct employment utilisation now sitting at 91%, up 40% from last year, bringing a total saving of £162,000 for the Trust, year to date.
“At the start of the year Cheshire and Merseyside STP identified three mechanisms for trusts to implement in order to achieve best practice; a platform, data and reporting services, and invoice control. We knew Liaison Workforce could meet all three of these requirements and help us where we needed it most.”
Southport and Ormskirk’s reduction in medical agency spend and hourly rates has been supported by the provision of full-time, onsite support provided by Liaison Workforce which aided the Trust to put the necessary processes in place, help the team to mandate agency sourced placement and enforce the agreed rate limits.
“We benefit from regular onsite review meetings with Liaison Workforce team, and we review progression of the system here as well as take an in depth look at the reports provided to us by Liaison Workforce. It’s during these meetings that Liaison Workforce has helped us identify that we have increased our savings on agency direct employment by 44%, compared to the previous year, along with many other great statistics we’ve seen from our use of TempRE.”
The monthly collaborative data provided by Liaison Workforce to Southport and Ormskirk, as part of the collaborative data group within the Cheshire and Merseyside STP, has supported the savings made by the Trust, who proactively
use and value the data provided.
The collaborative data in particular has been cited as being fundamental in the Trust’s ability to drive down rates. The
data provided by Liaison Workforce across the Cheshire and Merseyside STP means a significant number of trusts in that region can see what each other are paying and establish a benchmark for themselves.
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust
Reducing in their medical locum spend