NHS: Agency Workers

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th March 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 has been spent on agency and locum staff in the NHS (a) in total, (b) for each job type and (c) in each year since May 2010.

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

The data requested is only available from 2015/16 onwards.

These figures show that, for all staff groups, the amount spent on agency has fallen since the introduction of new measures to reduce agency spend across the National Health Service in 2015/16. Since the introduction of these measures, 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.

Even so, we recognise that there is still more to be done in this area, and we are committed to reducing trusts’ reliance on expensive agency workers, whilst ensuring they can meet their temporary staffing needs.




2018/19 Year To Date Month 10

Nursing, midwifery and health visiting

£1,150 million

£ 966 million

£809 million

£698 million

Healthcare assistant and other support

Reported as other

£199 million

£134 million

£103 million

Medical and dental

£1,346 million

£1,049 million

£950 million

£784 million

Scientific, therapeutic and technical

Reported as other

Reported as other

£248 million

£206 million

Healthcare science

Reported as other

Reported as other

£40 million

£29 million

Admin and estates

Reported as other

£342 million

£223 million

£178 million


£1,172 million

£379 million

£3 million

£2 million

Total agency

£3,668 million

£2,934 million

£2,407 million

£1,999 million

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