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“Reliance on locums is a sign of an overstretched NHS and poor workforce planning”

Reaction to NHS Improvement’s new measures to tackle NHS spend on agency staff: 

Dr Anthea Mowat, chair of the BMA’s representative body

“Greater reliance on agency staff is a sign of an overstretched NHS and the result of poor workforce planning by the government.

“The new measures are nothing really but a sticking plaster – simply naming and shaming trusts or individuals will not address the underlying issues causing an overreliance on agency workers.

“Increasingly, locums are employed because hospitals can’t attract staff to take up full-time posts. Caps do not address the root causes of the recruitment and retention problems in many parts of the NHS, especially emergency medicine.

“The government must tackle these issues with alternative interventions such as improving working conditions, better rota management and flexible shift patterns to help bring down agency costs.”

Paul Briddock, Director of Policy, Healthcare Financial Management Association

“We welcome the news that over the last year the NHS has reduced spending on agency staff and we support the previous and new measures put in place to scrutinise and manage agency cost overspend.

“Despite the positive progress to date, there is still the issue of excess premium rates paid on agency staff, which is a major pressure on costs and can only be partly resolved if a pricing cap is introduced. In the long term, it’s important we also address the subject of supply and demand, which would see the sector increasing resource in the NHS workforce, to eliminate the agency spend cycle we are currently in.

“Although the news is very encouraging, the issue of agency staff costs will continue to be difficult to manage unless the NHS also redesigns services across wider geographical patches to provide a much more sustainable service for the future.”

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One Response to ““Reliance on locums is a sign of an overstretched NHS and poor workforce planning””

  1. wm says:

    crap jobs with crap wages and crap conditions Cannot be filled. That is a mystery!

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