As an agency nurse, you often come across the term ‘framework’. Well, have you ever wondered what a framework is? Or how can it affect the amount of pay you receive? Well, frameworks are an important part of the UK’s healthcare system that influences how a nursing agency in Worcester or in any location operates. But you can also benefit from working with an agency recognized by the NHS framework. Read on to know more about frameworks.
What Is A Framework?
Frameworks were developed as a part of the efforts to supply quality agency nurses to the NHS. Framework agencies are those that are verified and compliant to the NHS. The framework body ensures that the temporary staff is correctly audited. It also assures the NHS clients that a nursing agency can supply high-quality staff at competitive prices.
A nursing agency can become a framework supplier by applying through a tender process and furnishing relevant company information. The information can include policies and procedures, the agency’s ability to supply a top-quality workforce, and the existence of a robust process to meet the demands of framework customers.
What Are The Framework Agreements?
The NHS framework ensures that only the best possible service is offered for temporary staffing needs. They aim to prevent the abuse of NHS resources through high rates in the form of fees and by agreeing on fixed prices. Your nursing agency can become an approved framework agency by adhering to the national price bandwidths. This is a great relief for nurses and NHS facilities since they are working with approved recruiters who are capable of meeting the staffing needs without overcharging.
Why Does the NHS Framework Matter?
The importance of agency staff can never be underestimated. Human life is very valuable, and one cannot wait for a facility to interview, scrutinize, and hire a permanent fix in every situation. This makes agency nurses an indispensable asset in the country. A framework agreement is necessary to prevent the exploitation of agencies or their staff.
It defines a set of rules for the nursing agencies to operate. Frameworks also cater to the safety of medical staff and facilities. It also ensures a fair compensation based on the roles, working hours, and location. However, frameworks were built with the primary aim of deploying the temporary staff rapidly while maintaining appropriate rates.
Frameworks aim to cut down high costs and hiring by ‘’off-framework’’ agencies who many employ unethical practices or supply, unqualified staff. For example, a nursing agency in Worcester working within the framework can ensure their team continues to provide quality care and utilise the valuable resources with care.
How Many Staffing Frameworks Are There?
There are many frameworks in the UK and are being run by different organisations.
- NHS Scotland
- CPP or Collaborative Procurement Partnership (England)
- NHS Wales (For Wales – nurses only)
- CSS or Crown Commercial Services (England)
- HTE or Health Trust Europe (England)
- HSCNI or Health And Social Care Northern Ireland
Every framework is unique and adopts its own set of auditing processes and compliance standards. The procedures can be similar, but the recruitment policies may slightly vary from one framework to another. However, nursing agencies are not restricted to the number of frameworks they can comply with. You can even find regional procurement hubs that have their preferred agency list under a chosen framework. This is nothing but a smaller framework operating under a broader framework.
How Can You Benefit From These Frameworks?
As an agency nurse, it is recommended that you choose an NHS framework agency over a non-framework agency. This way, you will be presented with an opportunity to choose from a large number and a wider variety of jobs. You will also be relieved to work with a vetted agency that does not charge exuberant commission fees as these are fixed well in advance by the framework.
How Do The NHS Clients Benefit From The Framework?
Clients undoubtedly place their trust in an agency placed under the framework. This is because they can expect qualified agency staff who comply with NHS employers’ standards. They can also rely on the revalidation of full-time healthcare professionals. Clients also understand that a framework agency can supply large volumes of staff for meeting the NHS requirements.
Competitive pay rates and charging rates, fill rates that are backed by service level agreements, use of IT system, and quick response time are the other notable features they get. By opting for a framework agency, clients place their faith in the audit process that checks the financial stability, adherence to regulatory checks, procedures, and policies.
They also benefit from savings incurred through controlled commission fees. Agencies with the NHS framework are often given the preferred status amongst the NHS trusts. This means you will be working with an agency that is given prior access to shifts before tier 2 or tier 3 non-framework agencies.
Working for a framework agency must be your first preference as an agency nurse. Such a reputed and reliable employer can present you with ample opportunities to boost your career. You are also guaranteed of a fair pay without being over-worked.