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PS34m spent on hospital agency staff in 3 years.

Byline: CLAIRE HARRISON

Nuneaton Reporter MORE than PS34m has been spent on employing agency staff at Nuneaton's hospital over the past three years.

Through a Freedom of Information (FOI) act request, the Nuneaton Telegraph can reveal that the George Eliot Hospital has spent PS34,378,615 on paying for agency staff to work on the wards since 2015. Figures show that in 2015/16, the 'Eliot forked out PS14,431,861 on agency costs, followed by PS9,788,490 in 2016/17 and PS8,318,527 in 2017/18.

So far, in the first financial quarter of 2018/19, the hospital has spent on PS1,839,737 on paying for external agency staff.

Haq Khan , the hospital's director of finance, explained: "Like most other hospitals we use agency staff to help maintain our service, but we have made real progress over the past few years in reducing how much we spend. We have increased the monitoring of our vacancies to fill them as soon as we can and continue to recruit nurses from overseas. We use an internal staff bank to fill our shifts wherever possible and only use agencies as a last resort.

"We have a target to further reduce our agency spending by PS800,000 this year."

Moves are being made by the 'Eliot to reduce spending on agency staff.

It was in December 2015 that the hospital first revealed it planned to employing nurses from overseas for the first time as they needed to save cash spent on agency staff and well as manage a staff shortfall.

The uptake to start with was not great, with just one person passing their exams to join the hospital.

But, earlier this year, four qualified nurses from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and India joined the ten other nurses from across the world who had already begun employment at the hospital. The George Eliot Hospital uses an International Recruitment Firm to help recruit from overseas and all nurses and midwives who have trained outside the European Economic Area (EEA) must gain professional registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Sep 25, 2018
Words:348
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