Speaking in a Commons debate this week (28th January 2020), the former Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, warned that the new funding for the NHS could have the effect of inflating salaries of locum doctors and agency nurses if the health service does not have staff capacity to provide services.
Speaking in the debate, Mr Hunt told the Commons: “…while everyone on the NHS front line welcomes additional funding, their real concern is about capacity. The capacity of staff to deliver really matters. I remember year after year trying to avert a winter crisis by giving the NHS extra money, and most of the time I gave the money and we still had a winter crisis, because ultimately we can give the NHS £2 billion or £3 billion more, but if there are not doctors and nurses available to hire for that £2 billion or £3 billion, the result is simply to inflate the salaries of locum doctors and agency nurses and the money is wasted.”
Agreeing with Mr Hunt, Liaison Workforce Managing Director, Judith Shaw, says: “Our advisors support trusts and healthcare organisations towards workforce transformation; helping them to reduce their temporary staffing costs, develop stronger staff banks, and collaborate with fellow organisations though our managed programmes.
“Through the use of such programmes, healthcare organisations could reduce their reliance on locum doctors, thus lessening the impact of salary inflation on their overall staff spend.”