Agencies benefit from £40 million NHS windfall

NHS
hospitals spent £137m on agency staff during the last financial year due to a
shortfall in qualified doctors.

Figures
published by the Independent show that spending on stand-in doctors has
rocketed in the last few years, rising from £86m in 1997-98 to £137m in
2001-02.

The
newspaper said that private agencies proving locum doctors to cover skills
shortages in the NHS have made an estimated £40m.

The
figures also reveal that 16 NHS trusts spend more than £1m on agency doctors,
with the biggest spenders including Barts and the London Trust (£1.96m) and
Frimley Park Trust (£1.6m).

By
Ross Wigham

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