Will capping agency rates save the NHS money?

Amongst the talk in recent days of capping the ‘egregious’ prices charged to NHS organisations by staffing agencies, it isn’t clear to me whether the discussion is about capping the amount paid to temporary staff, the fees charged by agencies, or perhaps both. The critcism of agency behaviour seems to imply that the capping should be…

Are staffing agencies ripping off the NHS?

HSJ reports today that there “is now a clear case for clamping down on ‘egregious prices’ being charged by some staffing agencies, says Simon Stevens in his report to the NHS England board”. At least some of the increase in temporary staffing costs has no doubt been caused by clinicians leaving permanent positions at NHS organisations…

A Model of Data Transparency & Comparative Competition for the NHS?

Jeremy Hunt gives the impression of not being very enthusiastic about patient choice and competition in the NHS. This may well explain the small number of competition investigations by Monitor over the past 18 months. On the other hand, he is enthusiastic about the power of data transparency to drive service improvement. He thinks that…

What happens if the s.75 rules are repealed?

It has been a while since my last blog, and quite a few things have happened on the competition front since then. These include: Reports of tensions between NHS England and Monitor over the competition regime have emerged, along with speculation that Simon Stevens may be more supportive of competition in the NHS compared with his…

Pathology consolidation and the OFT’s UCLH/Royal Free/TDL decision

Pathology has, for several years now, been identified as an area in the NHS where the reconfiguration of existing services, and the establishment of larger scale operations that serve multiple hospital sites could deliver significant efficiencies. The requirement for cost savings in the NHS has given renewed impetus to this agenda. But, at the same…