Staff Bank ‘Grip and Control’ | Litmus UK

By Helen Pendlebury, Head of Client Services

With numerous successful Staff Bank implementations, the UK Litmus team are regularly asked by prospective clients how we achieve such consistently high fill and savings targets.
Our grip and control strategy is a large part of the answer, and illustrates well the advantage of combining technology (e.g. booking systems and apps) with the expertise of people (an onsite team) and robust processes.

What is Grip & Control?

In its simplest form, Grip and Control is about ensuring that any request for temporary staffing is properly scrutinised. This may sound like simple rate control, but it is much more than that.

The aim is:

  • to effectively manage staffing demand, considering the workforce as a whole (temp, bank and perm),
  • to develop a detailed understanding of all the factors driving demand (long and short term)
  • to identify and change ingrained and inefficient or costly ways of working

Managing staffing demand

Each week our onsite teams across each of our managed Staff Bank sites hold Grip and Control meetings to review all recent requests for temporary resource. In these meetings, a full departmental committee, including clinical, operational and finance heads, assesses each request to ensure it is fully required, there are no alternatives that could be safely utilised and to understand the reason driving the request.

Key considerations are whether advanced planning could be improved, and recruitment mobilised to fill gaps more quickly, and if there are longer-term solutions, such as permanent recruitment.

Data insights showing an accurate map of emerging demand patterns also feed into this process, so capacity can be effectively planned to meet known fluctuations.  The result is a ongoing picture of staffing demand, and a clear understanding of where inefficiencies lie and what needs to change.

Rate control

This is also a key part of the Grip and Control process, but most of the work to control rates happens much earlier, right at the start of implementation. With the right preparations, our Staff Bank teams ensure that rate escalations only occur in exceptional circumstances.

Engagement is the key to this, agreeing and communicating rate strategies with full support from leadership teams. It is essential that everyone holds firm to the plan (hence ‘grip’) and that time is spent explaining, reassuring and supporting staff through the change.

As a result, we achieve a consistently high level of savings via our banks, reducing temporary staffing costs and ensuring better control, without impacting fill rates.

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Watch this short animated video to learn more about the Litmus approach to Staff Banks.

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