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Making Sustainable Workforce Efficiencies

NHS Improvement recently said NHS Trusts' agency staff spend had reduced from £3.6bn in 2016 to £2.4bn in 2018. But don't hang out the bunting yet. Bank spend - which has increased steadily as agency spend declines - was planned at £2.8bn for the year, but is now predicted to be £3.3bn. Is it time to look at sustainable staffing efficiencies?

Sustainable Workforce Efficiencies

NHS Improvement's efforts to drive down the amount providers spend on agency staff by NHS Trusts and organisations appear to be gaining traction. Coupled with Lord Carter's review saying that if 'unwarranted variation' was removed from trust spend, £5bn could be saved by 2020 the challenge really is on when creating workforce efficiencies across all areas of the NHS.


However, the most recent quarterly report from NHS Improvement indicated that although reducing, the targets for agency and bank spend may still be missed this year. For example, the target for agency spend in 2018-19 was £2.2bn but a spend of £2.37bn is now expected, exacerbated by an estimated 100,000 NHS Trust vacancies.

This is all down to providers still needing to use high numbers of temporary staff to manage workload in the face of increased unplanned demands - such as vacancies, sickness/absence and staff turnover. With Brexit uncertainty still looming, the situation is expected to get worse before it gets better.



NHS SBS offers a range of robust yet flexible solutions to help organisations achieve efficiencies and save valuable NHS workforce hours - from cost-saving recruitment services to the streamlining of processes through technology, automation and robotics.

Our services and technology are tailored to help organisations recruit, retain and support employees to provide outstanding levels of care, whilst helping them meet financial targets by reducing spend on temporary staff. Organisations can also reduce their agency spend further with our weekly payroll service, which improves morale, reduces absenteeism and increases workplace efficiency.

Our consultancy and analytics services enable organisations to optimise their processes, free up staff time and provide a focus for workforce planning. They also improve productivity and control of new or existing processes to help Trusts be cost-effective in the delivery of their clinical services, as well as ensuring the wellbeing of their skilled workforce. They include ePay - our electronic modular system, which reduces costs around expense and salary claims, HR forms and absenteeism.

To find out more about any of our workforce efficiency services, visit: Contact Form


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