Agency nurse paid £100 an hour at Walsall Manor Hospital

An agency nurse picked up £1,100 for a 11 and a half-hour shift at Walsall Manor Hospital, it has emerged.

Walsall Manor
Walsall Manor Hospital

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust paid out more than £14.4 million to agency nurses and locum doctors in three years.

The trust paid the nurse £337.25 for the five hours worked between 7pm and midnight at a night rate of £67.45.

The same nurse was then paid £766 for a six and a half-hour shift the next morning – an hourly rate of £117.95.

The total payments to the agencies and locum doctors amounted to £14.4m between 2012 and 2015.

During this period there have been seven occasions where the trust paid more than £1,000 for a locum doctor to cover a shift.

The highest payout for a locum doctor last year was £1,150 for a medicine and long terms conditions consultant who was on call for three days in March.

The highest payout for the previous financial year was in November 2013 when a paediatric consultant was paid £1,417 for a 17-hour night shift.

In the 2014/15 financial year, the trust paid £2,310,000 to locum doctors and £3,335,000 to agency nurses – a total of £5,645,000.

Both the 2014/15 and 13/14 figures are a huge increase on the £3,059,000 spent in 2012/13, including £1,627,000 on locum doctors and £1,432,000 on agency nurses.

The agency workers are called in as the trust deals with a staffing shortage at Walsall Manor Hospital.

As revealed by the Express & Star earlier this month, the Manor needs to recruit 100 more nurses and 70 more care support workers as bosses have admitted there is not enough staff.

Mark Sinclair, head of organisational development and human resources at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust said: “We are actively recruiting for a number of nursing and surgical staff and we are concentrating on our emergency department, maternity services and acute medical unit which is where we have the highest vacancy levels.

“Our priority has to be providing safe, high quality services to keep patients safe, however when we have unfilled vacancies, we will use agency staff to fill the gap.

“Our Care To Join Us campaign has re-launched, featuring first-hand accounts from staff who have chosen to come and work at our Trust, and this has already been successful, attracting a number of excellent candidates.”

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Comments for: "Agency nurse paid £100 an hour at Walsall Manor Hospital"

will14

Now the question is am I surprised? No! Mismanagement rules in NHS, no joined up thinking, no thinking of the bigger picture. NHS wastes money. Its all about managing.

the.mr.martin

the government has made a mess of the NHS by chopping and changing funding, procurement, contracts and more. It means there's no job security or job satisfaction (due to government meddling) so permanent staff leave but wards must still be covered, the only alternative is to use agency staff at higher cost.

It isn't mismanagement, it's government destruction of the morale and motivation so people like you will think privatisation is a good thing when it comes.

Until you're sick and need the NHS, then it won't be there for you.

charlie.bear.5836

That's "our" NHS for you - money no object.

the.mr.martin

no it isn't.

it's the NHS being forced into a corner by the government so people like you make ill-informed comments like that.

charlie.bear.5836

Us mere mortals can only gasp in admiration and envy at your wisdom.

I suppose the NHS was "forced into a corner" when the abuse and negligence at Stafford was going on and Labour was throwing "our" money at it?

Margaret Hamilton

It's nothing to do with management but it is all to do with Tory plans to destroy the NHS, fully aided and abetted by the E & S. We've got no nurses. Why have we got no nurses? Several reasons, having your bursary cut, thus destroying anyone's ambitions to be a nurse and what will be effectively ten years without a pay rise, horrific working conditions, hundreds leaving the profession due to stress and futility every week leads to one thing - the only way to make any money is by ... becoming an agency nurse! Agency staff are called upon to staff hospitals and operating theatres when a hospital doesn't have enough staff of their own, it's nothing to do with silly tabloid catchphrases about "management" and "wasting money", no agency nurses means dead people and gives the E&S and the Tories even more ammunition to run down the NHS. The Tories are wrecking the NHS by starvation so that they can charge you an absolute fortune when you inevitably get ill. Please don't say you can't see it, and don't say you weren't warned.

charlie17

It is all about Management and their attempt to control overtime by offering time off in lieu rather than overtime rates for nurses who are prepared to work over. Time off in lieu is not the answer because it only delays the inevitable when medical staff refuse to work because they realise that the time will never be right to take the time owing. We do not know, from this article, the status of the nurse being employed but assuming it was a Senior Sister her basic, if top of her grade, would be about £22 an hour, this would be doubled to £44/ hour with the unsocial hours payment and the agency would then need to add another 35% or more to cover holiday pay, NI contributions bringing the rate upto almost £60 hourly. To this we have to add an agency fee and £40 an hour does seem to be unreasonable, but again it is the responsibility of Management to negotiate the rate paid to the agency and like many people working in the public service they cannot comprehend that they are spending the general publics money. It is true we are short of nurses but how many have used a free nursing degree just to get a degree but then go off into other none nursing jobs. I believe that nurses should pay for their degree but believe that the cost should be written of by 10% a year for every year they stay working in the NHS. My daughter, who is a Senior Sister, is in full agreement because some of the current graduates would never have elected to train as nurses if they needed to pay themselves.

the.mr.martin

How many have completed a nursing degree and been so disheartened that they've chosen not to go into nursing?

The whole point about a free, or very cheap, education is that it opens up the professions to people who would otherwise not be able to afford to do it; if the employer doesn't then offer a decent job with reasonable pay and conditions who can blame newly-qualified people for taking their skills elsewhere?

Nurses salary is pegged at maximum 1% pay increase by MPs who have just given themselves a big, fat, juicy 11% rise with more to follow.

I don't know if you've ever negotiated with a parasite agency (doesn't sound like it) but it goes like this:

I need a nurse to cover such-and-such shift(s)

OK, it's £XX.XX per hour

That's too much, I'll pay £YY.YY

Sorry, it's £XX.XX per hour, take it or leave it.

That's daylight robbery. How much goes to the nurse?

That's market forces for you. The nurse gets about half, we keep the rest to cover 'overheads'

If some of the current graduates hadn't trained because they had to pay, there would be even fewer nurses, wouldn't there?

charlie17

If the agencies are making monopoly profit find a way to find the staff required without using an agency. In the West Midlands we have many hospitals and it is certain that a nurse somewhere in the region would be prepared to do an extra shift if they were paid a premium plus time for travelling. From my experience with my wife, daughter and a niece, if you want to be a nurse you will be a nurse and the payback of a small amount of your salary before tax when you earn over £21,000 a year would not stop you. As I stated the Government could have offered to pay back the loans for tuition over 10 years providing the nurse remained working for the NHS, this would have made the cost of becoming a nurse free for those who really wanted to be nurses and also ensured that the experience that is also required is also gained.

the.mr.martin

Typically inaccurate E&S reporting.

The stupid payments don't go to the nurse/doctor, they go to the agency.

The leeching agency pockets their (very large) cut and the nurse/doctor gets the rest.

The government has created conditions where staff won't stay or take permanent jobs because of the low morale, lack of security, uncertainty about future funding.

Greedy and parasitic agencies leap in and fill the gap (the same is happening in teaching), line their pockets and provide lazy journalists with easy headlines like this.

Then readers with minimal intellectual curiosity believe this dross and nod sagely when the government says the NHS is inefficient, and meekly collude when ministers quietly sell of bits of our NHS to their rich mates.

It's standard tory behaviour, you ought to recognise it by now: starve the organisation of funding, allow it to fail, blame anyone and everyone but central government, sell it off to rich friends.

will14

It is management, it really is down to incompetence and nothing to do with politics. The waste that occurs is mind boggling, you cannot believe how missmanaged it is. I know as I speak from the inside.

the.mr.martin

Of course it's politics - they want you to believe it's 'inefficiency' that can only be 'solved' by privatisation, and it looks like they've got you.

Managers can only manage what they've got, the government cuts the resources so managers have to make costly, wasteful short-term decisions because they can't plan long-term due to the uncertainty caused by government.

This is part of the softening up, preparing you for your NHS to be sold off to their city friends

Over 70 MPs have got interests in private healthcare providers and private companies with links to the tory party have 'won' (been given) over £1.5BILLION worth of NHS contracts; recently a contract was given to a private company despite the bid from the NHS in-house provider being £7million cheaper. The winning bidder, Alliance Medical, has tory MP Malcolm Rifkind on its board.

The NHS manager who awarded the contract used to work for Serco (who screwed up schools in Walsall for 10 years).

charlie17

The last sentence is really telling, you could also consider the hospital trust CEO who tried to silence a whistleblower which ultimately cost the trust about £7 million. He left the trust and was employed with an even bigger pay packet at another Trust, replacing a CEO who was a failure but moved to another CEO job at another Trust. It is the incompetence of management that causes the low morale amongst qualified medical staff. I have been listening to the rhetoric about the NHS being privatised for about 50 years but it has not happened, unfortunately it is now no longer the best in the world, and perhaps a change in how it is financed would be beneficial.

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