HCL: Locum Doctors Save the NHS Money

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Locum and agency healthcare staff are vital to the NHS and save the taxpayer money, says HCL plc, the leading health and social care staffing company.

Locum and agency healthcare staff are vital to the NHS and save the taxpayer money, says HCL plc, the leading health and social care staffing company.

The company was responding to misleading claims about the amounts spent by the NHS on locum doctors to cover rota vacancies. Spending on agency staff accounts for approximately just 2% of the overall NHS budget for staff.

The NHS has always used agency doctors, nurses and allied health staff in its rota planning to create a flexible workforce which can be scaled up and down to meet fluctuating demand, cost effectively. Used in this way, agency staff are more cost effective than full time staff employed by the taxpayer because they do not incur the hidden added costs of paid sick leave, study leave and most of all, pension provision, for which the NHS has a current liability of £288 billion.

Independent research conducted by Laing & Buisson has found that when these added costs are taken into account, agency staff can be between 8% and 24% cheaper than full time staff employed directly by the NHS. Agency doctors, nurses and allied health professionals have had exactly the same training as their full time counterparts and undergo strict credentialing processes before they can be placed on the clinical frontline. Many of them are full time employees of the NHS who undertake locum work in their spare time, while others choose to be career locums.

Kate Bleasdale, Executive Vice Chairman of HCL plc, said:
“We refute the latest allegations about the cost effectiveness and competence of agency staff. Agency healthcare professionals are highly skilled and experienced individuals who have always been used by the NHS to create a flexible workforce which can be quickly scaled up and down to meet demand. The healthcare requirements of our growing and ageing population means that demand for agency staff is forecast to increase.

As the NHS seeks efficiency savings, the use of flexible staff will and should increase because they cost the taxpayer less money. And as the public sector is pruned back, the service provided by private sector staffing companies will grow ever more vital.”

Contact:
Helen Tarbet
Helen(dot)tarbet(at)hclplc(dot)com
020 7451 1451

About HCL plc
HCL plc is one of the UK’s leading health and social care staffing companies. HCL provides doctors of all grades and specialties, allied health professionals, specialist nurses and qualified social workers to the NHS and private sector organisations worldwide.
http://www.hclplc.com

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Helen Tarbet
HCL plc
020 7451 1451
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