Category Archive Case studies


The agency rules and collaborative working.

A blueprint for success?

Though the Department of Health introduced the Agency Cap Rules in 2015, NHS Professionals and a group of Trusts in the Manchester area have been collaborating in a successful Agency Partner Programme (APP) since 2012 – with an estimated saving of £3million on general nursing agency costs already achieved.

At the commencement of the APP preferential rates were negotiated with eight Agency Partner Suppliers. Despite agency rates increasing nationally, the Trusts worked closely together to stick to the negotiated rates. Having established the success and strength of a collaborative approach – both between the Trusts themselves and between them, their agency partners and NHS Professionals – the group were in a strong position to realign agency rates to the caps proposed by the NHSI when the Agency Rules were announced.

The group also agreed to match bank pay in critical care areas (theatres, A&E, HDU, ITU, Paeds) to encourage workers to return to the NHS and the Trusts’ banks managed by NHS Professionals. Despite increased shift demand, shift fill rates improved while agency use was reduced and agency rates fell – which meant, of course, that all the Trusts involved made substantial savings on their temporary staff budgets.


The success of this Agency Partner Programme, and the way it addresses the Agency Rules, makes it a potential blueprint for Trusts around the UK. By working in collaboration with each other, they will have the combined strength to ‘hold the line’ and make the sort of savings and efficiencies that have been seen in the Manchester area.

Colin McCready,

Chief Financial Officer, NHS Professionals

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The impact and improvements made in critical care by collaborative working in the Manchester area. 

This article is extracted from the NHS Professionals National Trends White Paper ‘Are the Agency Rules working?’

For more information about the NHS Professionals Agency Partner Programme and how it can help you and Trusts in your area, please contact our Business Development Team on  01923 690 532 or


Tell us your NHSP story…


We would love to hear how working through NHS Professionals (NHSP) fits in flexibly with your lifestyle. Our retired nurse Helen explained her experience working through the NHSP Bank at Portsmouth Trust and we are now looking for more paid volunteers to do the same.

We are looking for energetic and enthusiastic people, both female and male and of all ages for a short video which will be used for future NHSP promotional material.

We will also pay you your standard NHSP day rate for a one day filming.

What do you need to do if you are interested?
If you are interested please email: and send us your:
• Name
• Trust name
• How NHSP fits into your lifestyle?
• Contact number
• email address
and we will be in touch if you have been successfully chosen.

What will happen if you are selected?
If you are selected, we will firstly do a short 30 minute telephone interview where we will find out more about you and your working lifestyle through NHSP.

We will then notify you of filming dates, location and times and we would also need to get permission from your Trust to ensure that it’s ok to film.

This will be a really good opportunity to talk about your work and how it fits in with you daily lifestyle. So what are waiting for, share your story and we will be happy to hear all about.

Your 5 minute fame awaits!


Claire continues to undertake Professional Doctorate in the recognition of delirium within the organic mental health unit


Claire Pryor, Nurse Practitioner in older people’s services at Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, has been awarded a Florence Nightingale Foundation research scholarship for the second time to undertake her Professional Doctorate. Her project has evolved over the first year of research and the title of her study is now ‘Delirium Superimposed on Dementia: Closing the Know-Do Gap’.

This is the second time NHS Professionals has sponsored Claire’s research scholarship so we wanted to catch up with her to find out how her project has progressed.

You can find Claire’s previous interview here.

What made you reapply for a scholarship with the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF)?
The support from the FNF in the first year of my Doctorate was fantastic and their interest and encouragement really spurred me on. Having the support of such a renowned organisation encouraged me as it made me feel like my work was understood, valued and recognised as a worthwhile piece of research.

When I was being interviewed for the second year of my scholarship, I was concerned as the research title and some specific elements of the research methodology had changed as I progressed and refined the overall research plan. However, the positivity and support from the panel made me feel confident that I was progressing in the right direction.

Have the aims of your research remained the same?
While the overarching aims of the research have remained the same, they have been refined to provide a more robust and concise premise for the research. This is why the title of the research is now ‘Delirium Superimposed on Dementia: Closing the Know-Do Gap’. The research focus remains on nursing experience and education, but with a clear outcome of exposing what helps or hinders knowledge being translated to practice.

What is delirium superimposed on dementia?
“Delirium superimposed on dementia” refers to the presence of delirium – as a severe confusional state, not attributed to dementia; occurring in a person who has a pre excising dementia process. It is by its very nature a very complex condition as the person already has dementia and may have symptoms of confusion or an altered state of consciousness, but its recognition is vital to prevent misdiagnosis and to facilitate appropriate treatment.

How has the project developed since you started?
The project is now awaiting final ethical approval before advancing to the data collection phase. There have been several considerations and refinements made, including changes to population size, the inclusion of surveying and an educational strategy. A draft policy will also be devised from the findings.

What methods have you used so far?
There has been careful consideration about what methodological structure would best suit the research question, and what would obtain the most appropriate data for analysis. Initial one-to-one interviews with nurses to gather personal accounts and identify emergent themes will form the basis for the development of a new and specific survey, which will be administered to the total sample of nurses.


Antonella continues to research whether dietary and lifestyle interventions can modify disease progression in early cirrhosis of the liver in third year of study


Antonella Ghezzi, Digestive Diseases Nurse Lead at Queen’s Medical Centre, part of Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, has been awarded a Florence Nightingale Foundation research scholarship to undertake her third year Doctor of Health and Social Care Practice degree. Her study is titled ‘Can dietary and lifestyle interventions modify disease progression in early cirrhosis of the liver?’

This is the second time NHS Professionals has sponsored Antonella’s research scholarship so we wanted to catch up with her to find out how her project has progressed.

You can find Antonella’s previous interview here.

What made you reapply for a scholarship with the Florence Nightingale Foundation?
The Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) has given me the opportunity to continue my professional development with the aim of improving patient care. The Foundation is keen to support healthcare professionals who are dedicated to improving patient services through professional development and academic excellence. Having previously been awarded a scholarship for my research, I re-applied as I wanted the FNF’s support on this exciting nurse-led study so I can share any success with them.

Have the aims of your research remained the same?
Yes, the aims are the same. I want to show that a very simple nutritional assessment and care plan, including dietary and health promotion advice delivered during outpatient clinics, can improve quality of life. It is still my intention to involve and engage patients and users in research. Findings from this initial study will feed into an extensive project where patients will be involved in the designing and writing of the research protocol.

What is cirrhosis of the liver?
Cirrhosis of the liver is a disease that gets worse over time. It is a chronic disease but it can be managed at a community level with a lot of support and advice. The life span of the disease is extensive and varies case by case. There is a lot of stigma attached to the disease as it is thought to be linked primarily to alcohol abuse, however there are many cases of cirrhosis caused by infection, obesity and autoimmune conditions.

How has the project developed since you started?
Since receiving approval in May 2015, I have recruited four patients out of 21. One patient has attended a follow-up appointment, the second is due for their follow up next week and two more patients are in screening. My aim is to recruit 10 patients by the end of 2015.

What methods have you used so far?
Methodology includes a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. The majority of the methods are quantitative and consist of blood tests, dexa scanning, questionnaires and dietary interventions. Patients’ comments, views and perspectives will be collected to comprise the qualitative portion of the data.

Have you faced any challenges?
Yes, the main challenge is to offer the right appointment to the patients. I need to coordinate care from the dieticians and the dexa scanning team alongside my time and the patient’s time. It is challenging combining all of us together at the same time. It is also a challenge to find the right patients. Inclusion criteria is tight (due to specific parameters), so it is my intention to slightly modify the inclusion criteria to be able to offer the study to a wider group.

What do you hope to achieve?
I would like to achieve an improvement in quality of life, biomarkers and imaging from baseline to post intervention after 6 months (duration of the study per patient).

What are your future plans after completing your research?
This is a pilot study to ensure that the methods, tests, and parameters of the research are suitable. I would like to design a bigger study, possibly a randomised controlled trail (RCT) in the future.

We will be following Antonella’s research progress over the next year and look forward to seeing the results. 


New Salford Royal case study now available on our website


To view the new Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust case study, which focuses on agency reduction and cost savings, click here.

We have a range of case studies available that focus on areas such as Clinical Governance standards and efficiencies, demand reduction, agency reduction and cost savings from both Mental Health and Acute Trusts.

Click here to view our entire collection.


Care Support Worker Development Programme In-depth Review

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The Care Support Worker Development Programme (CSWDP) was officially launched in January 2012 and has since been developed to roll out to other Trusts across England.

Care Support Workers (CSWs), also known as Healthcare Assistants (HCAs),work within hospital or community settings under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional; usually a qualified nurse or midwife. They are a vital part of the healthcare team and provide essential nursing care for patients’ personal needs. They might also escort a patient to another department, make observations, or assist a qualified nurse with a procedure.

The Care Support Worker Development Programme is a good way of gaining entry to the NHS and is aimed at those who don’t meet NHS Professionals’ current minimum experience criteria – six months experience in a care setting in the preceding two years. For many, the programme provides trainees with a route into substantive employment in a Trust and is also a gateway to a career in the NHS.

To read the Care Support Worker Development Programme In-depth Review, click here.