NHS Trusts: Staff

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 30th January 2019.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how much NHS trusts have spent on agency and contract staff in each year since 2009-10; and how much NHS trusts plan to spend on such staff in 2018-19 and 2019-20; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Trust pay reporting is split into substantive, bank and agency with no separate category for contractors. We are therefore not able to provide figures for the amounts spent on contract staff. However, comparable figures for agency expenditure are available from 2012-13 and are as follows:


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Agency expenditure up to Q2 this year was £1.21 billion with an annual ceiling target of £2.2 billion. Trust financial plans for 2019/20, including temporary staffing, are currently being finalised so we are not able to provide any information on this yet.

We are committed to reducing trusts’ reliance on agency workers, whilst ensuring they can meet their temporary staffing needs. Since the introduction of the agency reduction measures in 2016, agency spend has fallen from a peak of £3.6 billion in 2015/16 to £2.4 billion in 2017/18 – a £1.2 billion reduction.

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