NHSreality cannot think of them, but there must be unintended outcomes and consequences from today’s new ruling which caps locum fees. In a country which believes in open market philosophy, and has control of the number of doctors in training, this represents an ironic, confounding and idealistic volte face. Short term policies are dominating. Knee jerk responses and rationing will follow.. The situation in General Practice is at least honest, as the state has no influence over what practices agree to pay locums. The “last man standing” is a risk for all Drs in partnership: the young could abandon the old, or the old and experienced could depart into “locumland”…
A cap on spending on NHS agency staff comes into force in England on Monday, to save £1bn over the next three years.
By April, NHS trusts will not be able to pay agency staff, such as doctors and nurses, more than 55% more for a shift than a permanent member of staff.
Agency spending is one of the biggest costs to NHS trusts and is putting increasing pressure on the health service’s finances.
The health secretary said it would stop agencies “ripping off the NHS”.
But agencies complain they are being demonised when the problem lies in a shortage of trained staff.
And some hospitals are likely to struggle to meet the targets they have been set.
The cap comes following reports of agencies being paid thousands of pounds to supply nurses and doctors for shifts.
From Monday, there will be a limit on the amount companies can charge per shift for providing all staff, including doctors and non-clinical personnel.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said for too long staffing agencies have been able to “rip off the NHS by charging extortionate hourly rates”……….
The FT has alluded to these issues in several articles:
You cannot put a cap on NHS spending unless you can curb future …20th November 2015
Not what the doctor ordered 13th November 2015
and the Daily Mail is tuned into the Perverse Incentives inherent in the proposed new contract for juniors:Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt savages striking doctors ……
Diagnosing the problem with locum doctors 4th Nov BBC News