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REC counters media stories over NHS agency staff spending

REC counters media stories over NHS agency staff spending
 
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) is refuting certain misconceptions in several media stories over the Christmas period over agency spend within the NHS.
 
To counter this, the REC is re-emphasising the huge contribution that flexible workers make to the frontline delivery of NHS services.
 
The overall increase in temporary staffing costs can be attributed to factors such as shortages of certain categories of healthcare professionals and new working time regulations. However, in an increasingly politicised environment, this increase has been seized on as an example of mismanagement and waste.
 
Commenting on the recent press stories, Tom Hadley, the RECs Director of External Relations, says:  "It is ludicrous to refer systematically to agency staffing costs as an example of wastage within the NHS. The crucial front-line role performed by temporary and locum staff has been explicitly recognised by the National Audit Office. Flexible staffing arrangements that help to cover absences and meet peaks in demand are key to the resourcing of most large public or private sector organisation.
 
We understand the need to achieve best value and the majority of temporary staff are already supplied through specific framework agreements where costs are tightly controlled and monitored. The effective provision of highly skilled and properly vetted flexible staff within the NHS should be celebrated not denigrated.
 
The REC is in regular contact with the DoH, NHS Employers and Buying Solutions (formerly NHS PASA) on issues linked to temporary staffing within the NHS.   The REC represents specialised recruitment agencies in the healthcare sector through a dedicated medical sector group and a nursing and social care group.

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