Temporary nursing staff is costing the NHS in Scotland £25m a year,according to a recent report. Public-sector watchdog the Accounts Commission’s report, Temporary Measures:managing bank and agency nursing staff, also found an upsurge in the use oftemporary nursing staff. It states that more than 10,000 nurses are thought tobe registered with nurse banks and an average of almost 540 agency nurses areused each day.” The report continues, “The use of temporary nurses should be kept to aminimum for both quality and cost reasons. Temporary nurses would only beappointed to fill unforeseen staffing gaps that cannot be filled from withinexisting resources, and that trusts could avoid using temporary staff by betterplanning and management of their own nursing staff.”The use of agency nurses has soared over the past four years, rising from195.3 whole time equivalent posts a day in 1994 to 537.5 a day by 1998. AlexMcMahon, the RCN’s Scottish adviser on nursing policy, said, “Why aretrusts consistently employing agency staff? If there is a continual need forthese posts then they should be filled with full-time permanent staff.”Ann Rushforth, owner of Scotnursing, one of the largest nursing agencies inScotland, believes using agency nurses is not a bad thing. “It is a badthing if it is being used instead of filling full-time nursing posts but if itis to cover temporary needs in delivering patient care then there is not aproblem with it. “What we do need is better planning of nursing among trusts to ensurethey are not so reliant on agency nurses in the future.” Scottish health minister Susan Deacon welcomed the reportBy Colin Wright.www.accounts-commission.gov.uk NHS facing £25m bill for temporary nursing staffOn 21 Mar 2000 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.