HSJ has launched an investigation into the causes and consequences of the NHS’s growing reliance on temporary clinical and medical staff.

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Following recommendations on workforce made by Lord Carter’s efficiency review, HSJ’s investigation will go further, drawing on experience from around the system in order to generate proposals that will directly address the problem of a temporary workforce.

The investigation, in partnership with HCL Workforce Solutions, will be led by Nuffield Trust senior policy analyst and former HSJ journalist Sally Gainsbury.

HSJ editor Alastair McLellan said: “If the NHS is to achieve the step-change in efficiency set out in the Five Year Forward View the way in which its clinical workforce operates must change significantly. At the same time, the NHS faces the task of meeting the government commitment to delivering a service which is more accessible and offers higher quality outside normal working hours. This also presents a profound challenge to the working methods of the NHS’s clinicians.

“For this reason, among many others, HSJ’s third inquiry is focusing on the productivity of the NHS’s clinical workforce, with a particular focus on the pressing need to reduce the current escalating expenditure on temporary staffing.”

An interim report will be published at the HSJ Summit in November and the final report in December. This will draw up recommendations specifically for NHS providers and may also include proposals to central bodies and regulators on how they can better support a reduction in the use of temporary staff.

To inform the investigation HSJ is now calling on NHS managers, clinicians, regulators and leaders to submit evidence and proposals. All proposals should address the central question: How can the NHS reduce its reliance on temporary staffing?

Submissions can be made in confidence, if required, to workforceinvestigation@emap.com

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