Millions of pounds are wasted by the NHS every year in drawn out suspension cases as delays hamper investigations of doctors and nurses suspended on full pay.
The Commons public accounts committee found 30 cases of doctors suspended for more than two years before a decision was taken, amounting to £40m a year, reports The Guardian.
Not only do drawn out suspensions have a financial cost, but cleared doctors also often suffer from depression and an erosion of skills, the committee found.
Suspended doctors are excluded from work for an average of 47 weeks, while 10 weeks is the average for other clinical staff.
Edward Leigh, the committee chairman, said: “Patient safety is paramount, so it is important that NHS trusts can suspend clinical staff while conducting investigations. But too many cases have dragged on and on, wasting large sums of taxpayers’ money.”