Crisis Team Newsflash: CRHT calls in the unions as NSFT tries to recruit agency staff on £25 per hour

CRHT Private Agency Temporary Worker Advertisement short

We have written extensively about Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) botched redundancy programme which has wasted many millions of pounds and introduced unnecessary and unacceptable risks into the delivery of vital services.

Now, exactly what we warned would happen is happening. This is the job advertisement for a band six Community Psychiatric Nurse to join the Crisis Resolution & Home Treatment (CRHT) team in Norfolk. The post is paying £25 per hour, which works out at about £45,500 per annum. We’ll put in a Freedom of Information request to see how much the agency is charging NSFT on top of this but it will be a substantial premium. The top of the band six pay scale is £34,530. The band five pay scale is £21,478 to £27,901.

Meanwhile, staff who did, or could have done, this job have been paid to leave and others have been debanded from band six to band five and/or forced to move elsewhere in NSFT. So, existing staff are forced to watch temporary staff, often less qualified, experienced and productive, come in and do their old jobs for more money than they were paid when they were band six staff and a lot more than band five staff are paid. Demonstrating utter financial incompetence, NSFT is paying protected pay to many of these former band six staff, so NSFT is paying them at the rate to do the jobs for which it is now recruiting but can’t ask the demoted staff to perform because it humiliatingly demoted them in sham 20-minute interviews to ‘save money’. We said it wouldn’t take long for NSFT to waste the clinical commissioning groups’ £500,000. Don’t forget the crisis team staff are already having to deal with the consequences of the bed crisis.

This isn’t just happening in the crisis team: Sanctuary is also advertising band 5 and band 6 agency vacancies: in the community teams and on the wards in central Norfolk; in the community and crisis teams in the West Norfolk and on the wards in King’s Lynn; in IDT, Home Treatment and Access & Assessment (AAT) in Suffolk. That’s pretty much everywhere in NSFT. Imagine the impact on continuity of care as well as staff morale and trust finances.

Staff have had enough and are calling in the unions and the lawyers. They believe that the debanding and redundancies need to happen at the top of NSFT rather than on the frontline. Has the NSFT Board no shame?

11 thoughts on “Crisis Team Newsflash: CRHT calls in the unions as NSFT tries to recruit agency staff on £25 per hour”

  1. is the job definitely for NSFT – whilst they have issues the advert doesn’t name where the agency worker will be working,

    could be advert is for another organisation, which i appreciate would be a big coincidence – so how does the campaign know this is an advert where NSFT is the body contracting for staff?


  2. I did read the advert thoroughly but couldn’t see NSFT mentioned. I also know agency use has gone up but for “belief” purposes /  joining the dots between the advert and NSFT would be useful.

    I appreciate the job descriptor reads as a close match but wondered how it was known for definite this was for NSFT?

    I see Sanctuary also have 6 other posts for Norwich between Band 5 & 6

  3. Of all the decisions this Trust have made during this period of cuts this one defies belief. Does the person or persons making this decision have any idea of what this must feel like to the loyal and experienced Band 6 staff that were downbanded to a Band 5 and now have to sit back and watch Agency staff with potentially less experience  come into their  team, do thier job and receive much more money for doing it, and all of this while the downbanded team members are having thier pay protected as a Band 6. I have no doubt the Trust will have come up with  some reason/rationale  to justify  why they can do this but the truth is this Trust have been told throughout all of this that to lose so many experienced Band 6 staff from CRHT would create real problems.  The result we now have is a Crisis Team that at best struggles to manage and it would seem, that this is an act of desperation. I believe the point has now come where this Trust must be honest and say ” perhaps we have got this wrong ” and look again at what used to be a very good and succesfull Crisis Team.

  4. I’m sure CRHT must save the Trust a lot of money in providing intensive support at home as an alternative to a potentially lengthy and unhelpful hospital admissions (not to mention the human cost of an hospital admission for our patients).  To me it seems that middle managers do not like the specialist teams that actually work and potentially save money in the long run (I’m thinking Assertive Outreach and CRHT), and therefore actively seek to devalue the expertise of these services  I wonder whether middle managers feel threatened by experienced clinicians because we are frontline and they are sitting in an office making these decisions which are shown to be non-sensical and non-cost-effective (I mean, paying redundancy pay-outs and now employing agency staff???).   Ultimately: CUTTING HOSPITAL BEDS + CUTTING CRHT + CUTTING COMMUNITY TEAMS = NSFT MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS.


  5. I  believe that some senior managers have stopped caring, (or never did care),  about the frontline staff.   I believe that others  have stopped listening, and some  treat the staff with a level of contempt.    The hard working, dedicated professionals that deliver care to thousands of people and their families, are simply a workforce to deliver the Trusts obligations, and act on their instructions.  Nothing more, nothing less.   If they can prove otherwise then I’d like to see it.  This latest revelation only supports my opinion.

  6. regarding five visits a day. The drug and alcohol stopped booking five assessments a day, the assessment team now limit assessments to four a day , community teams often assume four visits a day.

    five is shoe horning  too much work in too little time with an impact on both accuracy and quality. Remember Access and Assessment and the drug service have static venues with patients or clients visiting them. To cover a huge geographical patch of risky distressed people takes time, observation skills and rapport building. This shows that managers have become so target focused they have forgotten to give a shit about quality or staff wellbeing. All managers should have to work in a clinical area regulaly to keep it real. They sit in an ivory tower of percentages and budgets. Chief nurse needs to take note of this and act now to improve staff engagement. staff are factory operatives packaging human sausages . It needn’t be this way.

  7. I have been told that the Crisis Team now has an agency band 6 nurse in place with more to come, if this is the case it is contemptible. I wonder if the agency staff had to interview for this post as the downbanded band 6 staff had to. The situation we now have is that experienced downbanded band 6 nurses who were very good at doing their job now have to go to work and watch someone else doing their job, what a way to treat your staff, the downbanded staff must be feeling great about this. On top of this NHSP staff are being used and other staff doing overtime to cover the drastic shortfall of band 6 nurses. All of this is going on while downbanded staff have had their band 6 money and enhancements protected. You could not make it up! The managers in this team must be feeling very proud of themselves. I just feel really sorry for the nurses in this team that have to endure this. I’m no employment expert, but is there nothing the unions can do about this ?

  8. It would seem that agency staff are still in place at the Crisis Team, but I was optimistic to hear that the Trust intend to take on more Band 6 Nurses for the team. Naturally I assumed this would restore some sense of justice to the Band 6 staff that were downbanded after the fiasco of the interviews they had to endure and they would be restored back to a Band 6 in that team. How wrong I was. If what I am told is correct, the advert for Crisis Team Band 6 jobs has been put out Trustwide and if the downbanded staff want one they will have to interviww and compete against anyone else in the Trust that applies. This is a complete disgrace. They were thrown out of their posts through no fault of their own causing them a great deal of distress and now the Trust expects them to jump through hoops again to apply for a post that should be given back to them without question. Why is this Trust so determined to treat the nurses in this team so badly ? I have no idea if this is even legal, perhaps it is, but I would ask the same question, what do the Unions intend to do about the way staff in this team have been treated ?


    If this information is correct it is an outrage!  It might be legal, but it is most certainly incompetent, destructive, callous and worst practice management. Consequences?  HR and Senior Management  receive their salaries as before and continue to be ‘really busy’  organizing their own mess, now recruiting rather then downgrading.  How affected Clinicians must feel is not difficult to imagine;  disillusioned and abused I would think….

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