Firstly, I have to admit that this is not my idea but a friend’s. This idea is proposed seriously and I hope that it is taken up.
The NHS wastes millions on temp agencies. Let’s look at some figures: Let’s assume that some medical professional e.g. a nurse, is employed as a temp at £24 an hour. The temp agency will typically take a 40% cut of the fee they charge: £16 for each hour that medical professional works – the NHS gets charged £40 an hour. If s/he works a 8-hour shift the temp agency makes £128. If s/he works a 40-hour week, the temp agency makes £640. The temp agency is making ridiculous amounts of money for possibly as little as 10 minutes’ work – only one short phone call and running the payroll.
Here’s how to save that money. The NHS operates as a temp agency and does it for far more reasonable fees of 5% or less. They only need to cover their costs – they don’t need to make a profit for anyone. The medical professional still gets paid £24 an hour but the NHS gets charged only slightly more than that instead of £40.
6/8/15: This article needs more research. NHS operates a ‘framework’ whereby agency fees are limited or capped. Temporary staff are also employed ‘off-framework’ e.g. when staff are needed urgently.