Crown Commercial Service Framework
To assist NHS trusts in achieving the best value for money, as well as offering assurances on the quality of temporary staff provided, a number of framework agreements have been developed.
Nursing Staffing Solutions (NSS) currently operates under the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) framework which is an executive agency of the Cabinet Office and is the delivery arm of government procurement. Its priority is to provide procurement savings for central government, health and the wider public sector.
CCS serves the whole of the public sector, covering the categories including energy, fleet, travel and professional services. As part of its services, CCS operates frameworks agreements for the supply of health related agency staff. The frameworks cover medical locums, nursing staff, allied health professionals , non-medical, non-clinical staff and multidisciplinary temporary healthcare personnel.
The frameworks offer assurance that the temporary staff supplied by the agencies operating under the frameworks are of sufficient quality, having undergone the required employment checks in accordance with the NHS Employment Check standards. While the frameworks offer employers assurance, the final responsibility for safe working practices lies with the NHS organisation to ensure that they have checked the relevant information on the temporary worker supplied, or are convinced through their own monitoring that their chosen provider has reliably done so on their behalf.
CCS uses its bulk buying ability to negotiate prices with agencies operating under the frameworks. Some of the frameworks also allow NHS organisations to hold further competition to improve rates through volume linked discounts and local negotiations.
CCS also have a framework agreement for workforce management services which can be used for the provision of services related to the flexible and effective use of workforce resources. This framework includes the provision of managed staff banks to the NHS. Further details of the framework can be found on the CCS website.