Hospital spends £5.6million on temps in seven months

Southend Standard: Hospital spends £5.6million on temps in seven months Hospital spends £5.6million on temps in seven months

A SHORTAGE of doctors at Southend Hospital has led the trust which runs it to overspend by £5.6million in the space of just seven months.

The extra money was spent hiring in agency and locum staff between April and October to cover sickness and unfilled vacancies, with the A&E department the worst-affected.

Last month Basildon Hospital admitted it spent £10.2 million on temps in 2012/13 – almost twice as much as it did the previous year.

However, NHS managers say the alternative to spending the money would have been to leave wards understaffed.

Southend Hospital’s personnel director Sandra Le Blanc pointed to a national shortage of medical staff and said all hospitals were finding it hard to get enough medics, and especially A&E doctors.

She added: “However, we are pleased a recent successful European recruitment campaign has seen us fill four vacant medical staff roles in emergency services, which has helped us to fill previously- advertised posts.”

Trusts are allowed to hire in agency staff to cover staff vacancies, and help at short notice at busy times and when medics were off sick.

It costs almost twice as much to hire a consultant, via an agency, as it does to directly employ one on about £90,000ayear.

A spokesman for the British Medical Association, said: “Trusts should seek to givevalue formoney andrecruit consultants to substantive posts where possible.

“Some specialties are, however, facing a recruitment crisis because of gruelling workloads, overstretched staff and limited resources.

“To stem this problem, we urgently need to address issues around workload pressures, resourcing and work-life balance.

“Only by making working practices and environments safe and sustainable, will the hospitals be able attract and retain the required number and mix of doctors.”

Comments (7)

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12:39pm Thu 19 Dec 13

BrianOtridge says...

We have a fundamental problem with the way the NHS is organised in this country, indeed with the country. We spend £250,000 over 5-6 years training young Britons to be doctors, yet large numbers of them emigrate to places like Australia, New Zealand and America owing to the economic climate and the Government’s controversial health reforms.

Precise facts are hard to come by, but since 2008, more than 8,000 UK-trained doctors have requested GMC certificates to go to Australia and New Zealand alone. Additionally, the number of Australian permanent visas issued to UK-trained doctors has almost tripled during the past five years, with 645 granted in 2010-11, according to immigration data.

So, with our own brain-drain, we have no choice but to turn to Europe and the third world, denuding them of doctors.

Surely, it would make sense if we could provide a worthwhile home-based career for our own doctors, rather than having to take on foreign doctors, many of whom have English as a second language, with all the risks associated with that?
We have a fundamental problem with the way the NHS is organised in this country, indeed with the country. We spend £250,000 over 5-6 years training young Britons to be doctors, yet large numbers of them emigrate to places like Australia, New Zealand and America owing to the economic climate and the Government’s controversial health reforms. Precise facts are hard to come by, but since 2008, more than 8,000 UK-trained doctors have requested GMC certificates to go to Australia and New Zealand alone. Additionally, the number of Australian permanent visas issued to UK-trained doctors has almost tripled during the past five years, with 645 granted in 2010-11, according to immigration data. So, with our own brain-drain, we have no choice but to turn to Europe and the third world, denuding them of doctors. Surely, it would make sense if we could provide a worthwhile home-based career for our own doctors, rather than having to take on foreign doctors, many of whom have English as a second language, with all the risks associated with that? BrianOtridge

12:51pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Ian P says...

In the manufacturing world if expensive training is undertaken at the company's expense those undergoing the training are often held to a sliding scale contract. This means that they have to pay the company back a percentage of their training costs if they choose to leave before the contract has expired. It should be the same in the NHS and similar professions funded by the Government/taxpayer.
In the manufacturing world if expensive training is undertaken at the company's expense those undergoing the training are often held to a sliding scale contract. This means that they have to pay the company back a percentage of their training costs if they choose to leave before the contract has expired. It should be the same in the NHS and similar professions funded by the Government/taxpayer. Ian P

12:57pm Thu 19 Dec 13

fletch12107 says...

Where do hospitals get the money from for these temps? We read pretty much most days that hospital budgets are at crisis levels and with penalties to pay for failing to reach unreachable targets I am intrigued.
Where do hospitals get the money from for these temps? We read pretty much most days that hospital budgets are at crisis levels and with penalties to pay for failing to reach unreachable targets I am intrigued. fletch12107

1:59pm Thu 19 Dec 13

GrumpyofLeigh says...

Presumably though, there is a corresponding surplus on the "full-time wages & salaries" line in the budget - the net is relevant, not the gross.
Presumably though, there is a corresponding surplus on the "full-time wages & salaries" line in the budget - the net is relevant, not the gross. GrumpyofLeigh

4:29pm Thu 19 Dec 13

jolllyboy says...

i dont care how much they spend if it means that people get the care they deserve and have paid for. Nevertheless the NHS should not be that short of doctors and nurses. Nurses do not have to be uni trained ! they are not doctors but unfortunately they seem to be forgetting that.
Doctors are only part of the brain drain that no-one wishes to admit is happening. I know how many of my family have gone - and that I expect is repeated in other families.
i dont care how much they spend if it means that people get the care they deserve and have paid for. Nevertheless the NHS should not be that short of doctors and nurses. Nurses do not have to be uni trained ! they are not doctors but unfortunately they seem to be forgetting that. Doctors are only part of the brain drain that no-one wishes to admit is happening. I know how many of my family have gone - and that I expect is repeated in other families. jolllyboy

6:52pm Thu 19 Dec 13

Keptquiettillnow says...

Only tax payers money, plenty more where that came from, sure there will be a few more vacancies for clip-board carriers.
Only tax payers money, plenty more where that came from, sure there will be a few more vacancies for clip-board carriers. Keptquiettillnow

1:24pm Fri 20 Dec 13

Kim Gandy says...

She added: “However, we are pleased a recent successful European recruitment campaign has seen us fill four vacant medical staff roles in emergency services, which has helped us to fill previously- advertised posts.”

The above says it all. They know that foreign staff, especially Eastern Europeans, will work more hours for less pay. It's all part of the dumbing down of the British workforce. Constantly undermining them with low wages, poor conditions and the constant threat of being replaced by cheap foreign labour if they don't do double shifts.

Been on the receiving end of that one myself, so I know. Forced to work 15 hour days just to break even.

Then there are always those who criticise British workers for being "lazy". Undoubtedly there are some lazy people but the majority of out of work British want a job.

But they are constantly undermined by cheap foreign labour, who are also exploited similarly - but at least they can send money back home to buy themselves a better standard of living. I know of such people, who returned home after five years here - to set themselves up in business. I'm all for people trying to better themselves - but not at my expense - still here working for a pittance.

Somebody I know works in a hospital. He found some keys left behind by the nurse who was dishing out medication. He was trying to tell her where he had put them for safe keeping and she couldn't understand a single word he said.

And she was doling out medication to patients!

God help us.
She added: “However, we are pleased a recent successful European recruitment campaign has seen us fill four vacant medical staff roles in emergency services, which has helped us to fill previously- advertised posts.” The above says it all. They know that foreign staff, especially Eastern Europeans, will work more hours for less pay. It's all part of the dumbing down of the British workforce. Constantly undermining them with low wages, poor conditions and the constant threat of being replaced by cheap foreign labour if they don't do double shifts. Been on the receiving end of that one myself, so I know. Forced to work 15 hour days just to break even. Then there are always those who criticise British workers for being "lazy". Undoubtedly there are some lazy people but the majority of out of work British want a job. But they are constantly undermined by cheap foreign labour, who are also exploited similarly - but at least they can send money back home to buy themselves a better standard of living. I know of such people, who returned home after five years here - to set themselves up in business. I'm all for people trying to better themselves - but not at my expense - still here working for a pittance. Somebody I know works in a hospital. He found some keys left behind by the nurse who was dishing out medication. He was trying to tell her where he had put them for safe keeping and she couldn't understand a single word he said. And she was doling out medication to patients! God help us. Kim Gandy

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