Trust spends £1m on temps

£600k more spent on ‘ex­pen­sive’ agency staff than full-time nurses

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Will Ack­er­mann will.ack­er­mann@trin­i­tymir­

THE trust run­ning Hilling­don’s hos­pi­tals has spent £600,000 more on agency staff in three months than it would have cost to em­ploy full-time staff.

A re­port pub­lished by the Royal Col­lege of Nurs­ing (RCN) re­veals the Hilling­don Hos­pi­tals NHS Foun­da­tion Trust spent £1,121,864 on “ex­pen­sive” agency nurses in the sec­ond quar­ter of the 2014/15 fi­nan­cial year.

Staff nurses would have cost £512,931 for the same num­ber of hours work – a dif­fer­ence of £608,933.

RCN’s Lon­don re­gional direc­tor, Ber­nell Bus­sue, said: “Lon­don is fac­ing a grow­ing short­age of qual­i­fied nurs­ing staff and th­ese fig­ures show the cost which em­ploy­ers are hav­ing to bear to plug the gaps.

“The gov­ern­ment needs to do much more to make Lon­don an at­trac­tive, af­ford­able des­ti­na­tion for nurs­ing staff so that our hos­pi­tal trusts can plan ahead and get enough per­ma­nent staff in place to pro­vide high qual­ity care at the level which pa­tients ex­pect.”

It comes af­ter the Care Qual­ity Com­mis­sion (CQC) pub­lished a re­port ear­lier this month, high­light­ing a short­age of nurses at the trust’s hos­pi­tals – Hilling­don and Mount Ver­non.

Be­cause of this and other con­cerns, the CQC rated the trust as ‘re­quires im­prove­ment’ and is­sued it with two warn­ing no­tices.

RCN’s re­port found the trust spent more than 20 times more hir­ing agency nurses be­tween July and Septem­ber 2014 as it did dur­ing the same pe­riod two years ear­lier.

The fig­ures, ob­tained through the Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion (FoI) Act, show that in the same quar­ter of Stan­dards Or­gan­i­sa­tion. We ad­here to the Ed­i­tors’ Code Of Prac­tice as en­forced by IPSO who are con­tactable for ad­vice at IPSO Hal­ton House, 20/23 High Hol­born, EC1N 2JD. Web­site http://www. Tele­phone: 0300 123 2220 email ad­vice@ipso. 2012/13 the trust spent only £51,771 on agency nurses, mean­ing a 2,067% in­crease.

Across Eng­land, NHS trusts spent an av­er­age of £884,179 on agency nurses in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2014/15, ac­cord­ing to RCN’s Front­line First re­port.

This fig­ure was just over twice that of the same pe­riod two years ear­lier, mak­ing Hilling­don’s in­crease over this pe­riod al­most ex­actly 10 times the na­tional av­er­age.

The re­port col­lated data from 168 of Eng­land’s 231 trusts – those that re­sponded to the au­thor’s FoI re­quests.

The Hilling­don trust pays nurses an an­nual salary of If you have a com­plaint con­cern­ing a po­ten­tial breach of the Code of Prac­tice, we will deal with your com­plaint di­rectly or IPSO can re­fer your com­plaint to us. Please go to http://www.trin­i­tymir­ how­to­com­plain where you be­tween £21,478 and £27,901, plus a 15% sup­ple­ment, for 37.5 hours work per week, 48 weeks a year, ac­count­ing for at least 27 days hol­i­day.

This equates to around £16 an hour.

By com­par­i­son, the trust pays be­tween £30 and £39 per hour for agency nurses.

In a state­ment, the trust state: “There is a na­tional short­age of nurs­ing staff, an is­sue which is par­tic­u­larly acute within Lon­don. In or­der to min­imise the im­pact on pa­tient care, we have taken on agency staff while we in­crease our re­cruit­ment drive for full-time nurses.” can view our Com­plaints Pol­icy and Pro­ce­dure. A “How To Com­plain” pack is also avail­able by writ­ing to the Legal and Com­pli­ance Depart­ment, Trinity Mir­ror PLC, One Canada Square, Ca­nary Wharf, Lon­don E14 5AP.

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