NHS Improvement to ‘pause’ the introduction of the new agency rules

Dear The Flame Lily Healthcare Member,

Following pressure from the Royal College of Nursing, NHS Improvement have decided to ‘pause’ the introduction of the new agency rules which prevent substantive staff from working as agency staff. These rules were due to come in to force tomorrow (1st April). It has written to trusts today telling them to “pause” the start of the controversial rule, in order to “engage with the sector”.
In a statement, NHS Improvement chief executive Jim Mackey said:

“Trusts have taken great strides on cutting back agency costs, saving over £700 m this year alone. We know that the nursing workforce has contributed the lion’s share of the savings made, and we are grateful for these efforts, on top of the excellent care and commitment they offer patients day in day out.

“We have listened and responded to the feedback from nurses about the latest agency rules on substantive staff,” he said. “We’re committed to getting it right for nurses and doctors alike and making sure the system and the way staff can work is fair and equal, which is why we’re taking more time to work with the sector.”

“We will be supporting trusts with the new tax rules which come into force next week, and will continue with our focus on getting medical locums to match the success nurses have achieved in bringing costs down,” he added.

The letter from Jim Mackey to NHS provider trust Chief Executives is attached. You can read about the announcement on the NHSI website at this link:

We will continue to keep members up to date with any further developments.

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