NHS trusts should rely more on staffing banks instead of the ‘expensive’ recruitment firms. This advice has been given by Ian Dalton, NHS Improvement CEO. The trusts need to adopt a ‘bank-first’ approach to full staffing needs.

NHS Improvement oversees the NHS and foundation trusts. The agency also oversees independent NHS-funded care providers. According to its CEO, NHS trusts could save about half a billion pounds by relying on staffing banks instead of the more expensive recruitment firms.

The executive had said that staffing banks cost less than recruitment agencies. The money saved by relying on staffing banks can be invested in providing improved patient care.

The Importance of Recruitment Agencies

In response to the recommendation of the CEO of NHS Employers, Danny Mortimer, has said that NHS trusts have already achieved a significant reduction in agency spending in the past few years. Better use of technology has allowed the trusts to provide safe services while reducing the net spending on recruitment agencies.

However, the trust can’t completely end reliance on recruitment agencies. Mortimer believes that there are cases when the use of agency is the only option available to the trusts.

Experts say that NHS trusts can cut costs by avoiding off-framework agencies. Reliable agencies play an important role in providing staff that cannot be provided by staffing banks.

According to the chief operating officer (COO) at Positive Health Care, Olivia Spruce, the recommendation that trusts could slash staffing costs is not entirely true. The head of the healthcare staffing firm had said that being a multiframework staffing supplier to the NHS, their profit margins are modest. Their services cannot be classified as ‘expensive’.

That said, the off-framework recruitment agencies charge an exorbitant fee for meeting staff needs on an urgent basis. This has resulted in a market where healthcare workers earn more compared to being associated with a staffing bank or a framework agency.

The director of Your World Recruitment, Greg Wood, has said that recruiters provide staff that is not available in staffing banks. The recruitment agencies deal with transient staffs who move around from one place to another. They support NHS to meet staffing needs by providing temporary staff. This also helps the staffing banks to fill holes and support NHS staffing requirements. While using staffing banks should be preferred, NHS trusts should not completely avoid services of recruiting agencies, as it will help them to recruit skilled staff that staffing banks cannot provide.