New Cross Hospital spends £10m on agency staff in one year
New Cross Hospital spent nearly £10 million on drafting in temporary staff last year, new figures have revealed.
A Freedom of Information request to the Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust showed that bosses spent more than £8m on agency doctors alone.
This adds up to the same as them employing about 58 permanent doctors.
The trust also spent nearly £1m – £987,486 exactly – on a range of temporary staff working as dietitians, music therapists, osteopaths, paramedics, physiotherapists, speech therapists, and more – the equivalent of 10 full time staff.
On top of this more than £48,000 was spent on two non-medical staff to support the trust, and nearly £13,000 on general nursing, which is the same as someone working three days a week.
Last year the financial watchdog, NHS Improvement, expressed concern that, nationally, hospital and ambulance service trusts were wasting a total of £480m on using private agencies for temporary vacancies.
The NHS Improvement report found just five doctors in the country were costing the NHS £2m-a-year, with one agency charging a health service £480-an-hour for a consultant.
Alan Duffell, workforce director at the trust, said: “To maintain quality and safety, we do use agency staff when required. However out of the £363m we spent on staff in 2018/19, 2.5 per cent was spent on agency staff.
“This is below the national cap on agency spend, thanks to the efforts of staff and managers.
"We have not used nurse agency staff in the last 12 months and when we do it is for specialist care.
"We have seen a reduction in the number of registered nurse vacancies, and in the Emergency Department (ED) and Acute Medical Unit (AMU) we now have a waiting list of staff who wish work at the Trust.”
Russells Hall Hospital spent nearly £7.5m on agency nurses in 2018 and in May 2018 Walsall Manor bosses spent £1.8m on temporary staff in just one month.