Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust

Nurse using a touch-screen tablet in hospital

Clarity helps Trust transition to fully on-framework agency supply

The challenge: get control back over agency use

Since 2011, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) has struggled to gain control over its temporary nursing staffing.

Because they lacked transparent management information, the Trust found it difficult to take control of its agency spend. There was also a high dependency on off-framework agency supply; 70% of locum nurses were supplied off-framework.

Then, in 2013 a neutral vendor service was agreed to solve the problem. However, while this agreement helped push LPT in the right direction, a high percentage of nursing staff continued to be sourced from off-framework agencies. The Trust lost confidence, and looked for a new solution.

The solution: centralised booking through smart technology

In 2015, LPT tendered for a master vendor partner. The key objectives for this partnership included:

  • Better control and visibility over temporary staffing, shift patterns, and fill rates
  • Centralise booking of agency staff
  • Removal of off-framework suppliers
  • Reduce agency spend

In July 2015, HCL, supported by Clarity technology, was awarded the contract under the National Collaborative Framework for the supply of nursing and nursing related staff. Clarity was chosen for many reasons, including:

  • In-depth understanding of the market
  • Innovative technological capabilities
  • Good culture fit with the Trust
  • Common goals – removing off framework agency supply is at thea heart of th Clarity model

Implementation

Within four weeks, HCL successfully put in place an approved supply chain of 32 agencies on behalf of the Trust and the Clarity technology was implemented.

All potential suppliers were audited to ensure they met compliance standards and could supply nurses at approved pay and commission rates. In fact, on 23 November 2015, agency caps came into effect; however, because the majority of rates through the Clarity technology were already below these caps, there were no adverse effects on the Trust.

Three months into the contract, Clarity conducted an audit of all off-framework agencies supplying nurses to the Trust. Of the nurse files audited, 144 out of 145 failed. All agencies that failed the audit were immediately removed from the supply chain and the nurses supplied via these agencies were instructed to register with the LPT in-house staff bank or through an approved agency. A detailed transition plan was put in place to ensure continuity and no disruption to the service.

The outcome: approved agencies only, and meaningful savings

Despite this challenging time frame, BCC has achieved the following results to date:

  • Complete removal of non-approved agencies from supply chain (off framework supply dropped from 70% to 0%)
  • In-house staff bank increased by 165 nurses
  • Projected 9.2% savings on nursing agency spend (£650k in year 1)
  • Fill rates increased from 73% to 94%

Additionally, the Trust now has access to real-time management information and visibility on all workforce data. This has saved money through more efficient scheduling, as well as faster identification of skill gaps and high-spend areas.