Clarity Managed Services helps Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust tansition to fully approved agency supply

The challenge

Since 2011, when three Trusts merged into one, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) has struggled to gain control over its temporary staffing. With little management information, the Trust found it difficult to take control of its agency spend. There was also a high dependency on non-approved agency supply; 70% of the Trust’s agency nurses were supplied from non-approved agencies. In 2013, a neutral vendor (NV) was engaged to attempt to regain control. However, although this agreement helped push LPT in the right direction, ultimately it was not the right fit for the Trust; a high percentage of agency nursing staff continued to be sourced from non-approved agencies and Trust staff lost confidence in the NV contract.

The solution

Engaging a master vendor

With financial and executive backing, LPT tendered for a master vendor partner to provide a more appropriate solution. Trust objectives included:

  • Control and visibility over temporary staffing, shift patterns, and fill rates
  • Centralised booking of agency staff
  • A strong procurement process
  • Removal of non-approved suppliers
  • Reduced agency spend

After careful consideration, HCL Nursing, supported by HCL Managed Services, was awarded the contract for the following reasons:

  • In-depth understanding of the market
  • Innovative technological capabilities
  • The team was a good cultural fit with LPT and their “morality shone through”
  • Common goals – removing non-approved agencies

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The contract was awarded on 3 August 2015. Within four weeks, HCL Nursing successfully put in place an approved supply chain of framework agencies on behalf of the Trust. All potential suppliers were vetted and audited to ensure they met framework standards and could supply nurses at on-framework rates; 32 subcontracting agencies signed up as approved framework suppliers, 20 of which are currently supplying to the Trust.

On 23 November 2015, agency caps came into effect. The majority of rates through the HCL master vendor agreement were already below these caps and, therefore, the caps had little impact on the Trust.

Removal of non-approved supply

Within the first three months of the master vendor contract, HCL Managed Services conducted an audit of all non-approved agencies supplying nurses to the Trust. Of the nurse files audited, 144 out of 145 failed. In light of this, HCL Clarity devised a transition plan to completely remove all non-approved suppliers. Those that failed the audit were immediately removed as an approved supplier to the Trust. Nurses working for LPT via these agencies were contacted and told, if they want to continue to work at LPT, they must immediately register with LPT bank or an approved framework agency.

The results

Four months into the master vendor agreement, the figures speak for themselves:

  • Complete removal of non-approved agencies from the supply chain (dropped from 70% to 0%)
  • Bank increased by 165 nurses
  • Projected 9.2% saving on nursing agency spend; at least £650K this annum
  • 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 enables effective workforce planning, with cost savings achieved through more efficient scheduling and faster identification of skill gaps and high-spend.

“HCL’s innovative technology provided LPT with real-time management information; this allowed us to regain control over temporary staffing. Prior to this, the Trust had little data or transparency to identify opportunities to reduce spend and usage. Within one year of implementation, the insights gained from this system will save the Trust at least £650K.”

Sarah Holliehead, Head of Strategic Sourcing, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust

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