STRENGTH IN NUMBERS

Strength in Numbers dedicated to my late mother Kay

Nursing agency’s £43m NHS payday

Mail investigation finds firm billed cash-strapped hospitals as much as £1,800 a shift to plug gap in staffing shortages

A nursing agency once owned by an offshore company in the Cayman Islands charged the NHS £43million last year to supply staff.

Thornbury Nursing Services raked in up to £6.5million from individual hospital trusts, billing them for as much as £1,800 a shift. Last week Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the NHS it must cut its soaring bill for agency staff, warning: ‘Expensive staffing agencies are quite simply ripping off the NHS.’  But research from 126 NHS trusts – two thirds of those in the UK – revealed some hospitals are spending more than £20million a year on agency nurses to plug staffing gaps.

Meanwhile, last year four agencies charged the NHS £88million for nurses alone. The figures are revealed by Freedom of Information requests sent to hospital trusts bythe Mail. London North West Healthcare NHS Trust spent £25million solely on agency nurse cover lastyear, while Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust spent £20million.  Barts Health NHS Trust in London spent £80million on agency nurses and doctors – and while it refused to disclose the breakdown, it admitted using agencies for more than 220,000 nursing shifts. Seven trusts said they’d had to pay an agency more than £1,000 for a single shift, with Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust paying Thornbury Nursing Service £1,800.

Click on the link to read more

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3114685/Nursing-agency-s-43m-NHS-payday-Mail-investigation-finds-firm-billed-cash-strapped-hospitals-1-800-shift-plug-gap-staffing-shortages.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490

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