A recruitment organisation claims that Government plans to cut the NHS price cap for agency workers 'will jeopardise patient safety.'
The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has described the consultation document as a "sham" that will destabilise the NHS and the sector entirely.
Samantha Hurley, Head of External Relations & Compliance: “This was beginning to work well, as it cut out the rogue agencies taking advantage of hospitals’ desperation to maintain patient safety levels amid chronic staff shortages, by charging extortionate rates.”
“NHS Trusts will now be faced with using the mechanism that still allows them to override price caps under exceptional circumstances in the interests of patient safety, as this will be the only avenue to procure the skills needed if professionals and agencies are unable to work at the rates proposed - which is highly likely.
"There is every possibility the price caps will create a ‘black market’ demand dictating its own price point. This puts the sector right back into the hands of 'off-framework' expenditure and in the process will cost the NHS millions.”
APSCo also mentioned that the proposals do not consider regional variances or speciality skills shortage. They also take no account of compliance costs to recruitment firms.
Hurley continued: “Despite engaging with the Department of Health some months ago to offer the benefit of our members’ knowledge and experience of working on large public sector procurement contracts, to help the Department find practical solutions to the NHS’ current staffing predicament, the Government has instead chosen not to consult and come up with a knee jerk reaction which, if implemented will have dire consequences.”
This isn't the first time a recruitment organisation has commented on the NHS agency spend. Recently, the REC responded to Jeremy Hunt's comments on the topic.
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