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Home Industry News NHS agency staff spending ‘has fallen, but remains too high’

NHS agency staff spending ‘has fallen, but remains too high’

19th October 2016

A new report from NHS Improvement has demonstrated the progress made in reducing NHS spending on agency workers in the last year.

Since the government introduced a cap on NHS agency worker spending last year, the health service has saved more than 600 million pounds. The measures were brought in after the NHS spent over three billion pounds on agency staff in 2014-15.

As such, 73 percent have now successfully reduced their agency spend, with more than half cutting their spending by one-quarter or more. However, the sector is still spending 250 million pounds a month on agencies, which is considered too high.

Further measures are now being brought in to maintain progress, including the publication of league tables of agency spending among the best and worst-performing trusts, plus the introduction of an approval process for the appointment of interim senior managers who charge in excess of 750 pounds per day.

Jim Mackey, chief executive of NHS Improvement, said: "We're committed to making sure hospitals can spend their money on their care and not on excessive agency fees."

The British Medical Association has expressed scepticism over these measures, saying the root causes of the NHS recruitment crisis need to be tackled, rather than shaming organisations that rely on agency staff.

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