UK Politics

Conservative Party: The cost of NHS agency staff pay

News   •   Dec 30, 2009 10:06 GMT

Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, reveals that NHS organisations across the country have been paying hugely inflated hourly rates for agency staff to cover shifts.

Lansley called this a "hugely wasteful way to run the NHS", and said "only under a Labour Government could an efficiency drive actually result in rising spending on temporary and agency staff".

"It is unforgiveable that more than £300 million of taxpayers’ money intended for the NHS is instead going to employment agencies", he added.

Examples of the inflated hourly rates include an agency nurse on £146 an hour, an agency doctor on £375 an hour, and an agency manager on £400 an hour.

Back in 2006, the Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt described agency staff as "massively expensive" and called for hospitals to cut their numbers and use permanent staff instead.