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All change please!

A little under a year since I last recruited into the NHS and how it has changed! 

NHS change

Monitor and the TDA have come together to form NHS Improvement (NHSI) to offer support to providers and local health systems to help them progress. NHS Improvement has also instilled a countrywide agency pay cap on every banding across clinical and non-clinical roles for all NHS Trusts and Foundation Trusts.

The caps equate to approximately half of the rates agency workers have achieved in the market for years. Any interim that is effectively on a “market rate” is being pressurised to move onto the capped rates or leave, as NHS Improvement (NHSI) require weekly reports on who is breaching and justifications as to why. You have to ask yourself, has this been a long time coming?

It’s not too surprising then that Providers are breaching the capped rates across the country, primarily on the clinical side, because GP’s and locums simply aren’t having it. Why should the rate they have achieved in the market for years suddenly be halved? NHS England has recently brought in something similar which relates to the CCG’s, though it allows for different levels of sign off, dependent on how much the candidate rate is.

Is this move aimed at driving interims away or purely a move to reduce the rates across the board? I think it’s the latter, and from my experience, it will definitely curb those agencies providing clinical staff who abused the charge rates when their clients were desperate for particular clinical staff at short notice. Is this the right way to go about it? Would a tailored approach to bandings and senior posts have made more sense as opposed to a “one size fits all” approach?

Regardless of these caps, the NHS will always have the need for quality interim staff both in clinical areas and across corporate services. Now, more than ever clients will want to measure the delivery and impact of an interim in their business, given the lengths they have to go through to get sign off.

This is where Interim Partners can add significant value to both our clients and candidates. Not only do we supply the best interim executives in the market , we also work with our clients to set clear objectives and milestones in order to demonstrate and measure the return of that interim’s output during their assignment. We call it Return on Interim. We’ve received great feedback from our clients that currently use the ROI methodology. If you’d like to find out more, please do get in touch.


Rob Jefferies is the Principal of Public Sector at Interim Partners.

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