Commenting on the BBC story on the high number of vacant posts in the NHS, UNISON Head of Health Christina McAnea said: “Cutting vital nursing jobs in a bid to save money is a false economy. As a result, the NHS now has to spend huge amounts of money on agency staff to ensure patient safety is not compromised.
“We are currently witnessing the largest sustained fall in NHS spending since the 1950s so the overspending on agency staff is only going to aggravate an already challenging situation.
“The NHS is training fewer nurses and the government’s plan to scrap the nursing bursary will only make things worse.
“And as vacancies are no longer centrally collected, held or published, it’s difficult to build up a national picture of the workforce gaps across the country.”
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