Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

Key drivers

The Trust wanted to regain control over agencies to be able to successfully implement the NHS Improvement (NHSI) Agency Rules; a key part being the complete eradication of off-framework usage. To comply with the NHSI Rules required a drastic reduction in the number of agencies used to maintain tighter control. In addition, they wanted to implement a Preferred Supplier List (PSL) to ensure pay parity across the agencies and continuity of care through the regular supply of nurses. 

Successful Tier 1 supplier bid from a Tier 2 supplier in August 2014; the main reasons being quality and quantity of nurses.


An aggressive campaign was carried out to educate candidates regarding the new PSL and register as many as possible to DRC. As part of this exercise we carried out several open days at the Trust and provided free compliance workshops to ensure candidates were fully registered and compliant to work through us.

To overcome the low rate card implemented and then further reduced by NHS Improvement, we embedded a continuous price conditioning function within all negotiations. This process ensures that candidates are fully aware of the Trusts financial restrictions and the margin we are making. All Recruitment Consultants receive quarterly negotiation training to aid with this process.

Many local Trusts to Northampton have historically not had a tight control over agencies which has led to increased rates and off framework usage, to ensure that candidates would not look to transfer to these Trusts we carried out a business development exercise across the local region to increase market presence. This exercise involved us promoting the positive work and results achieved at Northampton and putting a supply & rate proposal together for the local Trusts to create a standardized regional approach and ultimately work towards pay parity.

To create a long standing trustworthy relationship and ensure contract adherence from both parties a series of meetings was scheduled at contract implementation. The Trust has visited our office to meet key stakeholders, the Account Manager, and the Finance team so that we fully understand the Trusts requirements and booking process.


Since being appointed as a Sole Tier 1 agency by Northampton General we have assisted the Trust with the successful implementation of their PSL and adherence to the NHSI Agency Rules. This has been assisted through the reduction of the number of agencies creating a stronger partnership approach.

We have assisted with a more efficient process for the management of requirements and forecasting. We were given complete access to Allocate and through the full utilisation of the system centralised the booking process; all bookings were done electronically on the system allowing for maintenance and adherence of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 policy.    

Working in collaboration with the Trust we streamlined the invoice process. Full utilisation of Allocate ensured the accuracy of invoices and no rate discrepancies creating time savings for the Trust. We developed and implemented with the Trust a paperless timesheet process and provided consolidated invoicing. With the Allocate system driving the invoicing it provided full visibility and eliminated human error as there was only one version of the truth.