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Spring Budget 2024 - The opportunity for the NHS's non-clinical side

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Article posted by Eden Kendall on Mar 27, 2024

The government has announced an extra £2.5 billion in day-to-day revenue funding for the NHS in England for 2024/25. As a recognised provider on the CCS framework for Lot 2 and 6 roles, we wanted to give an update about what this means for our clients at Trusts across the UK.

What’s the funding for?

A review aimed at boosting NHS productivity will inject £3.4 billion in capital investment over the next parliamentary term, focusing on AI, digital, and other tech-related enhancements. The aim is to achieve a 2% annual productivity increase by 2028/29, aligning with the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan's goals.

The overall capital budget, including the productivity plan, will be clarified after the General Election during the subsequent Spending Review, but we’ve already seen in the conversations we’ve had with various NHS Trusts across the UK how this budget will create new opportunities for non-clinical staffing departments in the NHS. We look into these opportunities below.

2024/2025 – the year of opportunity

With many Trusts feeling frustrated at reduced budgets in 2023/2024 with clinical staffing taking priority, 2024/2025 and the influx in funding represents an at least temporary opportunity for non-clinical staffing departments to bolster their resources, begin long-term projects, or complete existing ones that had to be parked when the budget wasn’t there.

Temporary/contract staffing is one such way of doing this – getting someone into your team who’s experienced at the role in mind, and at the same time, still gives you control from one year’s budget to the next.

This could be through bolstering your finance department to finally alleviate some of the workload pressures your existing team has been feeling, work on the costing exercise you’ve been putting off, or just help you effectively measure spend when it comes to other new projects you’re working on.

It may be that you need HR or Operations specialists to facilitate the smooth running of projects – roles that have been overlooked and somewhat neglected in the past, but whose presence can boost productivity through their effective management of people (think job role distribution and absenteeism) and resources, improving their efficiency within the Trust.

Underpinning all of this, the excitement of the new budgets will need to be tapered with their effective use - something that procurement professionals with experience of resourcing effectively within the public sector can do, ensuring that all projects are completed to the greatest value possible, whilst at the lowest risk.

The value of working with a specialist agency

Cobalt PS is a recognised supplier to Lot 2 roles on the CCS framework, specialising in interim and fixed-term contract solutions across corporate service functions including finance, accounting, HR, operations, and procurement. Our parent brand, Cobalt Recruitment, is a leader in built environment recruitment, specialising in Lot 6 roles within the Public Sector, in estates, facilities, and project management positions.

We partner with your Trust, meaning as a hiring manager you can be as hands-on or off with the recruitment process as you‘d like - leaving the shortlisting, screening, and scheduling to us to free up your time to focus on your role. We’re experienced at working on compliance intricacies and IR35 queries, making sure that your candidate is ready to start with you in as little as two weeks from initial briefing, and you can also rest assured that candidates are always fully referenced. We can provide the mandatory training and DBS checks if needed too.

Whether that might be for a short two-month contract to facilitate a temporary handover whilst you wait to fill the role permanently, or a longer-term placement to oversee a new project where a new plan needs implementing across the service, contact me via ekendall@cobaltrecruitment.com / +44 (0)20 7478 2525 to find out more about how Cobalt PS can help.