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REC respond to Jeremy Hunts announcement of cap on agency spend in NHS

"The overwhelming majority of trusts use frameworks to obtain agency staff, where pay rates are negotiated and set by NHS trusts and central government. The Secretary of State is deliberately presenting extreme, outlier, off-framework instances as if they were the norm.

“The average band five nurse earns &pound20-&pound25 per hour and an agency A&E doctor earns around &pound60 per hour. On top of this the agency would charge a fee of between 10-20 per cent to cover the costs of recruiting and vetting the worker. For this fee the agency would also have to commit to any training updates and revalidation checks for the worker. When you take into account the shifts that an agency nurse or doctor would work, their pay often equates with a permanent NHS employee. 

“Far from & lsquo;ripping off’ the NHS, recruiters are working all hours to make sure our wards are safely staffed. Even Monitor’s own recent report on NHS trust finances acknowledged that increasing agency spend  was due to increasing demand and skills shortages, not escalating or & lsquo;rip off’ rates.”



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