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Agency nurse paid £100 an hour at Walsall Manor Hospital

Walsall | News | Published:

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

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.

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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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