Viapath Case Study

Claritystaffbank helps Viapath get much-needed visibility

Viapath is a unique partnership of clinical, scientific and operational expertise, with a mission to transform pathology services in the UK. The organisation is built on scientific expertise, providing a service that helps clinicians create better outcomes for their patients every day. Their clients include Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Bedford NHS Trust and Princess Royal University Hospital in Orpington.

They continually focus on innovation; finding new and better ways to manage the logistics of high-volume pathology testing, as well as specialist reference testing. Viapath always strive to improve capabilities to better meet their customers’ needs.

The challenge

In 2014, Viapath found themselves in a period of structural reorganisation and quickly realised that they needed more control and visibility on their temporary staffing processes. Contributing factors included:

  • Lack of real time management information: this made it difficult to track or analyse each department’s use and spend on locum staff, or to understand the portion of agency spend associated with each staffing category. There was also little clarity on which agencies were supplying to which departments.
  • Manual authorisation process: a paper authorisation process was in place, in which agency bookings were signed off by the CFO in writing. However, this was difficult to track and the process was not particularly efficient.
  • Vacancy bookings managed at a local level: individual departments liaised with their own preferred agencies, meaning there was no control of rates or agency usage across the organisation.
  • Long-term agency workers: It was hard to identify short and long-term agency staff, meaning many agency staff were on rolling agency contracts, which led to an unnecessary increase in agency spend.

The solution
Viapath began a procurement exercise to find a Neutral Vendor technology partner to help them to reduce their agency spend and build an in-house staff bank. They chose Clarity for:

  • Best fit technology: Clarityagency and Claritystaffbank integrate seamlessly and would give complete visibility over their temporary use and spend from procure through to pay. Clarity staff also had expertise in building in-house banks.
  • Neutrality: Unlike some other providers, Clarity do not provide temporary staff to Viapath or any of their NHS partners, and therefore would have no hesitation in moving workers from agency to bank to support their long-term strategy.
  • Impressive support offering.

The implementation

In January 2015, the Clarityagency system went live at Viapath. The Clarity team moved all agency workers on to the platform and, within a few months, Viapath began to get much-needed visibility over their temporary spend and use:

  • £2.1m agency spend per annum, including a large VAT bill
  • Temporary vacancies filled via agency is 100%

Once this visibility had been achieved, work began on building a bank and, in May 2015, Claritystaffbank went live. The Clarity team not only managed the entire implementation process, they also spent an additional 3-6 months on-site at Viapath’s laboratories (2 days/week) signing workers up to the internal bank.

Despite Viapath now having a much stronger staff bank, they were still experiencing some resistance to change with regards to using the Claritystaffbank system when vacancies arose. To encourage engagement, Clarity worked with Viapath to conduct a communications campaign and also provided on-site training sessions for all managers/users of the systems. This training is now incorporated into Viapath’s mandatory training programme for all new employees.

The outcome

  • 60 agency workers transferred to bank
  • Bank fill rate is 92% and agency is 8%
  • £300k agency net saving per annum
  • Real-time management information provides total visibility on temporary staffing spend and use
  • Controlled agency rates
  • Higher level of authorisation: the Clarity system ensures the correct people are booking and approving agency workers; significantly decreasing fraud and duplication
  • Streamlined timesheet authorisation and invoice processing