Case study

NHS trusts work together and save £9 million on locum doctors

By combining their agency staff requirements 3 NHS trusts were able to save £9 million a year on their locum doctor costs.

close up of stethoscope with doctor's hands in background

The customer requirement

Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust and United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust were spending in the region of £30-40 million a year on locum doctors. They joined forces as by bringing together their requirements they believed there was the potential to make significant savings and improve workforce efficiency across the trusts.

The solution

They chose to use the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Multidisciplinary Temporary Healthcare Personnel agreement (RM3711) to find an agency who could meet their locum doctor requirements, as this framework has the option, if required, to also cover their nursing and allied health professionals needs, without the need to go back out to the market. This is because the agreement enables trusts to source all their temporary clinical staff through a single solution.

The proposed collaborative solution needed all 3 trusts to get executive level and clinical support. The trusts were able to do this by showing that it was an opportunity to develop common workforce management practices and that they would be able to achieve significant cost and efficiency savings.

By working closely with CCS at the specification stage the trusts were able to ensure that NHS Improvement price caps were addressed, and that any other future NHS Improvement requirements will be met by the successful supplier.

Following the evaluation of 7 supplier bids, the trusts awarded a contract to a single master vendor supplier for all 3 trusts, with each trust entering into their own signed contract. As a master vendor the successful agency supplies the trusts with temporary staff from their own pool of workers in the first instance. Where they cannot supply from their own pool, they sub-contract to an established agency in their supply chain.

The results

Each trust will save approximately £3 million a year, giving the trusts a combined saving of £9 million annually. This saving is a direct result of the 3 trusts working together to achieve better management of their medical locums and drive down costs to ensure they meet NHS Improvement’s agency rate caps.

Richard Somerset MCIPS, Senior Category Manager, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said:

“The support I received from CCS was of the highest standard and helped the trusts complete a successful procurement that will save millions of pounds a year.”

Get involved

To find out how the Multidisciplinary Temporary Healthcare Personnel agreement and our health workforce team can help your trust:

Published 6 February 2017