Agency self-billing

Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, East of England, Acute

The problem

Agency invoices have been coded by Finance since the Covid-19 pandemic to ease clinical workload. However, there is a bottleneck of agency invoices in the non-PO invoice approval workflow due to the lack of staff. If agency invoices are not paid within 30 days or within each SLA, they are at risk of failing the Better Payment Practice Code (BPPC). According to the Public Contracts Regulations, 95% of supplier invoices need to be paid on time by NHS bodies. Additionally, 24% – 30% of agency invoices get rejected as they lack the required information for processing.

The challenges

 The scope of this project involved refining and automating the following processes:

  • capturing agency rates to ensure accurate pay
  • capturing accurate costs against shifts worked, thereby enabling self-billing
  • development of an in-house self-billing tool to generate invoices

What were/are the outputs?

Invoices are processed quicker, ensuring that agency nurses get paid on time. This leads to accurate pay for agency nursing staff and a lower rejection rate for agency invoices. Consequently, fewer invoices are at risk of failing BPPC.

What were/are the outcomes?

Potential avoidance of interest and penalty charges of approximately £114k for 2022 – 23. Annual staff cost potentially reduced by over £44k. It will help improve staff morale and supplier relationships.

The Innovation

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What the peer-reviewers said

“This is a transferable innovation to many organisations.”

“Overall, the organisation has successfully executed an idea which addresses a specific challenge and provides better value to the organisation.”

“The word document covers clearly the process, who is involved and what was out of scope.”

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Innovation E6 – Redacted Self-billing