King’s Mill spends almost £6m in one year on temporary nursing staff

Kings Mill Hospital GV
Kings Mill Hospital GV

Figures have revealed that King’s Mill Hospital has spent nearly £6m on temporary nursing staff in a single year, following an investigation by Ashfield MP, Gloria De Piero.

She uncovered the cost after submitting a Freedom of Information request to Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Ms De Piero was shocked to learn the £5.73m figure forked out in 2014/15 has more than doubled in the last five years.

In 2010/11, the trust spent £2.56m but the amount of cash shelled out on agency nursing staff has gone up every year since.

In 2011/12 this increased to £2.66m, the following year (2012/13) it jumped to £4.18m and in 2013/14 it rose once again to £4.46m.

Commenting on the latest figures, Gloria said; “The over-reliance on agency staff is not just wasteful of NHS finances and often more expensive but it can also damage staff morale too.

“Nurses who’ve had a pay freeze for years will find it galling that the agency bill is going through the roof.”

The figures come just a month after Simon Stevens, the chief executive of NHS England, blasted agencies for ‘ripping off’ the NHS and ‘over-spending’ on temporary staff.

During an interview with the BBC, Mr Stevens said; “What we’ve got to do is convert that [agency] spending into good, paying permanent jobs,” before drawing attention to a recent regulator’s report, which showed that NHS foundation trusts in England spent £1.8bn in 2014 on agency and contract staff - more than twice the planned amount.