Bill for agency doctors and nurses climbs to £26.5m

Bill for agency doctors and nurses climbs to £26.5m

HEALTH chiefs have admitted they are struggling to hire permanent doctors and nurses.

Figures showed the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust spent £26.5m in 2014/15 on temporary staff.

The Trust, which runs Dewsbury District Hospital, spent £21m the previous year.

Mid Yorkshire has faced criticism from the Care Quality Commission for staff shortages on some wards.

Director of finance Gary Boothby said increased spending is to help deal with such problems.

He added: “We’re doing everything we can to increase the numbers of permanent staff.

“Given all NHS Trusts are facing similar issues in terms of recruitment, we’re finding the labour market is very competitive.

“We need to use agencies to ensure we have the correct staff levels for the number of patients.

“Decisions on the use of temporary staff are always based on patient care needs and specifically patient safety.”

Dewsbury & Mirfield MP Paula Sherriff called on Mid Yorkshire to “get a grip” on agency spending.

But she also attacked the Government and said: “In Yorkshire and Humber the overall number of qualified nurses has reduced since 2010.

“On top of this, in 2010 the coalition government cut the number of nurse training positions.

“This has led to 12.7 per cent fewer university places being commissioned by the NHS.

“Where are the qualified nurses going to come from at a time when nurse training places have been cut?

“And the Government, under their EU negotiation plans, are planning to send 30,000 qualified overseas nurses back to their country of origin.”

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