Welsh NHS spends £260million on agency staff in last five years

September 6, 2012 4:02 PM

Figures uncovered by the Welsh Liberal Democrats have shown that in the last five years, the NHS in Wales has spent a staggering £260million on locum, agency or other non-permanent staff.

Whilst there has been a slight decrease in the amount spent in the last year, the NHS still spent over £55million last year covering recruitment gaps because permanent staff cannot, or have not been found to provide services to patients.

When the figures are examined in more detail, in becomes apparent that whilst every other LHB has made savings in the last financial year, Betsi Cadwalader in North Wales actually increased the amount of money spent on by nearly £1million.

Kirsty Williams said: "It is astounding that when we see wards and services closed because of a lack of staffing, last year the NHS in Wales still spent £55million on locum or agency staff when it could have been employing full time medical staff to treat people across the country."

"Over the last five years, the NHS in Wales has spent over £58million on agency and locum nurses, midwives and health visitors. That money could have employed nearly 2,500 full time nurses over the past five years*. Instead, Labour and Lesley Griffiths' record on the NHS is one of ward closures, cancelled operations and missed waiting times."

Notes:

*The mid point salary scale of a band five nurse in Wales is £23,500

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