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General Discussion

02 Jan 2018 08:28
02 Jan 2018 09:06

There are vacancies in all walks of life. And the problem lies with agency workers. do you get full employment under the terms and conditions of your employer or do you choose your own?

If you are going to earn more or have more convenient working hours to suit your life style by joining an agency, then what would you do?

I know of a school teacher who gets paid handsomely by being an agency worker. He can say yes please or no thanks to what schools he teaches at.

Some schools are dreadful to work in and therefore the agency can demand more for those prepared to work in them.

If he gets an offer to work in one of those dreadful shools for instance, he can virtually dictate the fee paid and how long he is prepared to work in that school. It is not rocket science, but how it can be resolved is way over my head.

Anyone can make an FOI request to any authority to find out how much it costs to use agency workers, some of the figures are staggering.

And I am sure it will inform the requester (If there is going to be any) just how much more it is costing an authority to employ agency workers as opposed to employed by the authority workers.

I was once told but never had confirmation of it, that a chef employed as an agency worker would cost the NHS more to employ that worker for a months work than it would to employ a chef on the books for twelve months.

02 Jan 2018 09:21

I have no idea how to resolve the agency situation either

But just think how much public NHS money must be going into the private sector agencies that specialise in providing health staff.

So shortage of NHS staff not necessarily the fault of the NHS then?


More info here about the NHS and agency staff

  • Agency workers - NHS Employers

    Agency workers and temporary staff in general are a widely used resource within the NHS and can play a vital role in helping NHS organisations manage fluctuations in ...

  • Rules for all agency staff working in the NHS - GOV.UK

    Caps on the total amount NHS providers can pay per hour for an agency worker and rules on nursing agency spend.

  • Clampdown on NHS staffing agency costs - GOV.UK

    A cap on charges for agency staff will reduce NHS spend by £1 billion over 3 years, and agency staff will be no better off than NHS colleagues.

  • NHS agency staff costs cap brought in - BBC News

    A cap on how much NHS trusts can spend on agency staff comes into force in England on Monday, in a bid to save £1bn over the next three years.

  • Reducing agency spend - NHS Employers

    Developing strategic plans for your temporary workforce will help reduce agency spend and make the most of your available resources.

  • Is NHS being overcharged by agencies – or are staff ...

    Is NHS being overcharged by agencies  or are ... Is NHS being overcharged by agencies  or are staff ... Monitor found that overspend on agency staff arose from ...

  • NHS Agency/Bank Staff - The Virtual Pub - Canal World

    My wife worked part time for NHS and was auto enroled into pension - no probs. She left their employment and joined as "bank" (agencystaff the next day...

  • Reducing expenditure on NHS agency staff: rules and price ...

    We’re taking steps to support NHS providers to reduce their agency staff bills and encourage workers back into substantive and bank roles. This will help ease the ...

  • What has the impact been of recent caps on NHS agency ...

    Four months since the first caps on NHS agency staff spend were introduced by Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority, Phoebe Dunn looks at the impact so far.

  • NHS Staff: Skills, Retention and Recruitment | Open Forum ...

    Anticipate how Brexit will affect the NHS workforce. Identify solutions to the NHS' dependency on expensive locums and agency staff. Network and knowledge share with ...



02 Jan 2018 09:47

This is from one of those links I've posted above.


 The NHS is battling a spell of ill-health. Suffering from a chronic shortage of nurses, doctors, midwives and general practitioners; as well as developing a dependency on costly agency workers. The NHS workforce crisis has been further compounded by recent figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council and British Medical Association indicating that the number of EU healthcare professionals coming to work in the UK is depleting at an astonishing rate; as the number of medics from the European Economic Area leaving the UK is rising at a ratio of almost one in every five.        

The widely maligned public sector pay cap, uncertainty created by Brexit, staff shortages and under funding are creating an environment that has led to:

  • NHS vacancies rising by more than 15% in the last year.
  • More than 10,000 EU staff leaving the NHS since the Brexit vote.
  • Projections of £15bn financial shortfalls by 2020.
  • The number of nurses and midwives coming to work in Britain from the EU plunging by 89%.
  • 22% of junior doctors feeling deprived of sleep whilst on duty.
  • Missed A&E treatment targets for consecutive years.
  • 54% of junior doctors working beyond their scheduled hours on a daily or weekly basis. 
  • An influx of private healthcare providers competing for NHS contracts.   

Additionally, in the chancellor's November budget statement, Phillip Hammond pledged £2.8bn (£350m immediate investment, £1.6b in 2018-19 and £850m in 2019-20) to the NHS. Despite the chancellor labelling the commitment an 'exceptional' measure, it is still a far cry from the £4bn requested by NHS bosses to fill the funding gap for the coming year alone. The health budget has traditionally received an additional 4% a year above inflation in order to cope with an ageing population, increasing long-term health conditions and the rising cost of medicines. However, since 2010, this figure has dropped close to 1%.     

Budget cuts, sweeping healthcare reforms and austerity have pushed the NHS workforce to breaking point. NHS Staff: Skills, Retention and Recruitment will bring together health and social care leaders, economists and politicians to collaborate in pursuit of an actionable strategy for recruiting, retaining and upskilling NHS staff; as well as how to effectively allocate waning investment in the NHS to best serve its staff and patients.  


02 Jan 2018 12:50

It's all about money and how you controll it's use.

Another thing I found out in my stay's in hospital when you get talking to the staff is this.

You have an appointment for an operation, that appointment is sometimes cancelled, not because the surgeon could not perform his/her duty on performing the operation on you, he/she had the offer of a bigger pay packet by working for BUPA and the like. Many of these private health care practices, do not employ full time surgeons so they have to get them from somewhere else.

Guess where they come from?

One of my surgeons I remember was a professor from Exeter Uni, who was called in to help out.

It is endemic as to what is going on in the professions.

02 Jan 2018 16:34


This has been posted on Eyes of Dawlish


In Devon there are now plans to Introduce an ACO (Accountable Care Organisation) to run all health services from 1st April 2018. This is likely to be our biggest challenge in 2018.

Stephen Hawking, Allyson Pollock and colleagues have launched a legal challenge to stop Jeremy Hunt and NHS England from proceeding with plans to turn local NHS bodies into Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs). Here are some facts about ACOs:
1. ACOs will be given the money for your care as an insurance premium, and will pay out only for certain treatments - like an insurance company.
2. ACOs will in many cases be handed over to actual insurance companies and other private firms.
3. ACOs will be able to decide what care is free and what they can charge patients for.
4. ACOs will be paid more if they 'save' money (i.e. spend less money on front-line services).
5. ACOs will be subject to commercial rules and will hide behind the veil of 'corporate confidentiality'.
6. ACOs are not recognised in any Act of Parliament and as such have no legal basis.
In other words, they are not “accountable” and their primary focus is on profit rather than patient care. Their introduction, if successful, will mean we no longer have a National Health Service.
That is why we need to get the message out there and galvanise support across Devon in 2018."

02 Jan 2018 16:48

Did I not say,"It's all about money and how you control it's use".

I suppose you could also say it is greed, that those greedy barstewards out there want a piece of the action.

Margaret Swift
Margaret Swift
02 Jan 2018 22:36

It’s already happening. I visited The Drs at Barton Surgery on 20 November  with an eye infection, which I had suffered with for a week whilst working away from home. I was told to go to the chemist and buy a particular ointment. Incidentally, I am over 60 thus entitled to no charge prescriptions. I bought said ointment, which made not a jot of difference. Having been fobbed off by the Dr I went back to the chemist and bought same make eye drops, which did clear up the infection after three weeks and two days, something antibiotics would have cleared up in les than  a week. I now have yet another eye infection and will visit the Drs tomorrow with no hope at all of getting the treatment I need to clear this up once and for all. Our health services have gone from being the best to the worst! Some Drs think first about cost and saving money (usually pennies rather than pounds) before deciding on the most appropriate treatment. 

05 Jan 2018 07:54
05 Jan 2018 09:09

How many agency nurses/doctors are used at both hospitals at the moment I wonder. And at what cost to both NHS trusts?

08 Jan 2018 12:35

Interesting to see that Anne Milton's husband is a director of Virgin Care.

08 Jan 2018 12:39
08 Jan 2018 14:23

Yes and tipped to replace Jeremy Hunt.

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