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Hospitals in England pay £5,200 for one agency doctor's shift

Hospitals in England have paid out as much as £5,200 for a shift by a doctor through an agency, according to figures obtained by Labour through Freedom of Information requests.

That is the latest in an intensifying debate over workforce shortages in the NHS in England.

Labour blamed the high agency fees on Conservatives, arguing they had failed to train enough doctors and nurses. A Conservative spokesperson said "record numbers" had been recruited.

The most expensive reported shift was £5,234 - paid by a trust in northern England. This covers the agency fee and other employer costs as well as the money going to the doctor.

The NHS Confederation said the "staffing crisis" was so "desperate" that NHS trusts were being forced to pay large fees to make sure rotas were "staffed safely".

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: "Trusts are having to breach the caps on how much they pay for agency doctors because of the extremely high levels of demand they are facing for their services.

"The staffing crisis is so desperate that they either pay these fees or find that their rotas cannot be staffed safely, leading to reduced services for patients. This is particularly true in parts of the country where the NHS can struggle to recruit new staff."

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Source: BBC News, 12 December 2022


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