NHS Improvement publishes agency rules

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31 / 3 / 2016 12.05pm

NHS Improvement has published consolidated guidance setting out the rules on the procurement of agency staff, the use of approved framework agreements and the introduction of maximum wage rates. 

From 1 April 2016 all trusts in scope of the rules will be required to:

  • comply with a ceiling set for their total agency expenditure
  • procure all agency staff at rates set at or below the price caps
  • use approved frameworks to procure all agency staff.
The rules also outline the maximum hourly rate agency workers can receive, which will apply from 1 July 2016 and are set at a level similar to those of substantive staff. 

The guidance contains links to the list of approved frameworks agreements, and includes tables which set out the hourly price caps and wage rates for medics, dentists and Agenda for Change staff groups.

The agency rules apply to:

  • all NHS trusts
  • NHS foundation trusts receiving interim support from the Department of Health
  • NHS foundation trusts in breach of their licence for financial reasons.
There is a strong expectation that all other NHS foundation trusts will comply with the rules.

The expenditure ceilings and mandatory use of approved framework agreements will also apply to ambulance trusts and ambulance foundation trusts from 1 April 2016, with the price caps and wage rates coming into effect from 1 July 2016.

As stated previously the price caps do not apply to substantive/permanent staff, bank staff or staff employed on a fixed-term contract. 

Download the guidance document in full.

Further information on the agency rules can be found on the GOV.UK website.

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