The relentless focus on NHS providers' operational efficiency continues, with Lord Carter's publication of his initial findings from his review of productivity.  Lord Carter has worked with 22 hospitals in reaching his preliminary conclusions and – whilst there are many areas in which he identifies improvements could be made – tighter management of the NHS workforce is a key facet of the report. 

Lord Carter believes that overall savings of £2 billion could be made across the four main areas identified and with even a 1% improvement in workforce productivity, £400m in savings could be achieved. This means more robust management of performance, annual leave and sickness absence, tighter controls on temporary workforce arrangements as well as improved management of workforce rostering, flexible working practices and clinical time.

The gauntlet has been thrown down today for NHS providers, with Lord Carter estimating that £5billion in savings could be made, per annum, by 2019/20 and that £2billion could be saved by improving patient workflows and containing workforce costs.  Bevan Brittan can help you maximise legal flexibilities in relation to workforce optimisation by:

  • Working with  HR and management teams to strengthen performance management processes and ensure consistency of practice
  • Reviewing and auditing absence and performance management procedures in order to strengthen these and get full value from your workforce
  • Providing interactive and case study led training workshops to address skill gaps including navigating MHPS and other procedures
  • Reviewing flexible working arrangements to ensure that they meet the needs of the service
  • Working with you on workforce planning and exploring alternative contractual employment models
  • Assisting you on the use of eRostering as part of a wider change management tool
  • Redesigning your temporary workforce contractual and practical arrangements to manage the increasing minefield of risks these present to your business

Our advice is supported by our learning and development programme, which is designed to help you meet the challenge of improving productivity and achieving workforce efficiencies. If you require further information, please contact me or your usual Bevan Brittan advisor.

Lord Carter's full report on NHS productivity is due to be published in Autumn 2015.