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September 2020
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NHS spending on temporary workers far from wasteful' – de Poel

The cost-saving consultancy, who manage the supply of agency workers to several leading care organisations, rebuked the claims made by the Tories, suggesting that temporary workers were crucial during 2009 to keep services running.

They argued that a reliance on a temporary workforce in the NHS had come about due to a long-standing skills shortage and lack of permanent staff in the care sector, intensified by restrictions on migrant workers and the new Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS).

Temporary agency workers, de Poel added, have always had a key role in allowing public sector care organisations to respond to market shifts and periods of increased demand for services, and should not be attacked.

The cost-saving consultancy’s remarks came after government figures showed NHS spending on temps rose 60% in two years – hitting almost £1.3bn in England in 2008.

Chief Executive of de Poel, Matthew Sanders, said: -Temporary agency workers have always had a crucial part to play in the care sector, but last year the effects of a skills-shortage, changes to the immigration points-based system and the introduction of the VBS meant demand shot up.

-We would be better if we put less into denying the importance of temporary workers and more into regulating and improving the industry, recognising the value of temporary workers during certain periods.

-Use of agency staff is only detrimental when it is left unmanaged. If rates are standardised to their optimal level, if formal terms of business are introduced and if organisations can restrict the number of suppliers to a select audited few, then they can actually prove extremely valuable in allowing organisations to be more flexible and responsive.

Last year, de Poel saw their care client-base swell as the industry came to rely more and more on a temporary agency workforce.

de Poel currently manage the supply of temporary agency staff to more than 15 care organisations, including Mears and Community Integrated Care.

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