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Department of Health (DoH) proposals

I’m sure you aware from various media reports surrounding the Department of Health (DoH) proposals regarding agency staff.

Keystone Healthcare wish to keep you up to date and fully informed regarding what is being discussed.

There are two main Monitor documents.

  1. From 19th October 2015 trusts are mandated to take workers from Agencies providing through the various National Framework agreements. Agency Rules approved frameworks
  2. From 23rd November an agency price cap is proposed which will bring pay in line with substantive workers capping YOUR pay. Price Capps for Agency Staff Note: This is currently only a proposal.

As you are aware Keystone Healthcare are a Framework provider and this has meant many more trusts are requesting Keystone workers.

All of our NHS clients are now being provided through the various frameworks, unfortunately this has meant that rates have been reduced in a couple of trusts to ensure we comply with the Mandate.

Rate Caps

A four week public consultation was launched on 13th October, we urge all those who will be affected to complete the consultation questionnaire

We will keep you fully informed of any further developments as soon as we receive the information.

Our view

We will get an increased workload through the provision under the Framework agreements, as off framework agencies are used less and trusts move over to framework agencies.

Our understanding is that Trust management do not want the proposed Rate Cap, certainly at the levels proposed as this may lead to:

Serious staff shortage and risks to patient safety.

An increase in overall costs due to increased overtime usage.

We believe NHS Foundation trusts will not be mandated to do this unless they are in special measures.

Even in special measures, if patient safety is compromised trusts just have to report their reasons for not using rate caps, e.g. risk to patient safety.

Current Situation

Not one hospital has asked us to lower the rates to the caps suggested. We believe none will as they know that they would struggle to get workers.

Given the nature of the work we do i.e. mainly critical workers, we suspect the trusts will do a risk assessment and reject these price caps.

Basically, make sure you complete the feedback and let others know to do the same then let’s wait until the dust has settled. We will keep you informed as soon as new information arises.

About The Author:

Richard Ward

Managing Director

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