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Agency nurse spending higher than planned despite caps

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Trusts’ spending on agency staff is 16% higher than planned at quarter two of 2016-17 despite the introduction of new agency caps, NHS Improvement’s latest financial update has shown.

In its quarter two update, the regulator also revealed the best and worst performers on agency spending so far this year and said the provider sector is predicting a £900m saving despite increases in demand and spending on temporary staff.

NHS Improvement said year to date agency expenditure was £1.5bn, which is £312m less than the same period in 2015-16.

The regulator said: “Seventy-one per cent of trusts have reduced their agency expenditure since the introduction of the agency rules in November 2015. Providers are currently forecasting a £900m full-year reduction in agency expenditure compared to last year’s actual spend of £3.6bn.

“However, the forecast remains £200m above the agency expenditure ceilings. Therefore, some trusts need to deliver further savings to bring spend in line with their individual agency expenditure ceilings.”

It added: “Despite efforts made by providers to reduce their agency staff costs, year to date agency costs continued to exceed plan by almost 16%.”

NHS trust boards have been put under pressure in recent months to justify their overall pay bill spending over the last two years. The update also names the trusts with the best and worst performance against their agency spending targets as of quarter two.

Five trusts with the lowest agency spending relative to NHSI ceiling
North East Ambulance Service FT
West Midlands Ambulance Service FT
Lincolnshire Community Health Services Trust
The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals FT
Liverpool Women’s FT
Five trusts with the highest agency spending relative to NHSI ceiling
The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre FT
Walsall Healthcare Trust
The Dudley Group FT
North Middlesex University Hospital Trust
Weston Area Health Trust
Five trusts with the lowest agency spend as % of total pay
North East Ambulance Service FT
West Midlands Ambulance Service FT
The Christie FT
The Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals FT
East Midlands Ambulance Service Trust
Five trusts with the highest agency spend as % of total pay
Hounslow and Richmond Community Healthcare Trust
Medway FT
Sherwood Forest Hospitals FT
Kettering General Hospital FT
South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust

 

 

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