The new rules preventing permanent NHS staff picking up agency in other trusts is being forced through at the start of from April, creating fury amongst the healthcare sector.
Sneakily, the regulator NHS Improvement, told trusts just in February about the new rule, on not using agency staff employed elsewhere in the health service.
“This will make it fairer and more attractive for people to become permanent NHS staff.”
A nurse who wished to remain anonymous responded, “How on earth does cutting someone’s earning potential “make it fairer and more attractive for people to become permanent NHS staff”? Time for these idiots to wake up and start living in the real world before they completely destroy the NHS!!!”
Danielle Tiplady, a nurse in London who started the “Bursary or Bust” campaign as a student, stormed on Twitter.
“Many of us do agency shifts simply to get by. Now we are banned??? Absolutely shocked!”
Another nurse blasted: “This is a crazy move from NHSi, although I had heard that NHSi has said this is guidance not mandatory, also in real terms how would this be policed? There is a real danger that this will result in a reduction of nurses who will want to work those extra shifts through an agency, thus increasing the pressure on an already strained workforce.”
Meanwhile, the Royal College of Nursing said its members had “reacted angrily” to the letters from their trusts informing them of the ban, and it would be contacting NHS Improvement and the government about it.
The college pointed out that the ban came as NHS staff were waiting for a government announcement on pay that had been “suppressed for many years”.
Also criticising the regulator for imposing the new agency working rules without agreement or consultation with itself or other unions on the NHS Staff Council.
An RCN spokesman said: “We do not support this agency cap and we were not consulted. We support the right of our members to work in whatever way is best for them and their families.
He added: “There is no obligation on nurses to join a hospital bank. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that shifts are filled. It is not right that nurses should work for less than they are worth.
“We will be taking this matter up further with NHS Improvement and the Department of Health,” the spokesman said.
A spokeswoman for NHS Improvement confirmed that the rule would definitely apply to all NHS staff and that this had been stated in the letter sent to trusts in February by the Jim Mackey.
This is all part of a wider clamp down on agency costs, with significant reduction in the use of personal service companies. Some can reduce an agency nurse’s tax, also gaining agreement in Trusts on reduction on medical locum spending in 2017-18.
Recent caps on hourly rates and targeting individual trust spend, has saved the NHS around £1bn since being introduced in October 2015 the regulator said.
NHS Improvement said at the time that the majority of savings made by the NHS so far on agency staff had come from nursing, admitting that more needed to be done to curb spending on locum doctors.
More nurses and NHS staff plan new careers in the background.
Source: My Nurses Life