Government’s proposals into NHS agency costs ‘completely miss the point’

UNISON says that the problem is a result of government spending cuts

Commenting on the announcement today (Thursday) that the government is launching a four-week consultation into agency costs in the NHS, UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said:

“The government’s proposals completely miss the point. NHS trusts are turning to agency staff because of a shortage of trained staff. This lack of resources is a result of government spending cuts and means they cannot make long-term plans.

“Hard-pressed NHS workers turn to agency work to make up for the fact that their pay has been virtually frozen since 2010, and that the value of their pay has fallen by around 12 per cent.

“The government’s solution seems to be to cap the pay of agency staff rather than the agency’s profits, and add to the bureaucratic burdens of trusts. None of this is great news for patients.”