October 1st, 2016

£1m agency bill hits trust budget

£1m agency bill hits trust budget £1m agency bill hits trust budget
Updated: 9:31 am, Aug 01, 2015

HEALTH chiefs are paying out £1million a month on temporary nursing staff, a meeting at the Alexandra Hospital heard.

Members of the Worcestershire Acute NHS Hospitals Trust board learned last Thursday that the cost of additional nursing agency fees was pushing the authority further into the red.

During a report to the board, acting director of finance, Colin Gentile, explained how the amount spent on nursing in the last three months had doubled.

“We need to make sure controls are in place,” he said. “We are using agencies on a week by week basis.”

The board heard how finances are causing the trust to use additional agency staff, with nurses alone totalling a net loss to the tune of £0.9 million.

Costs to cover temporary medics meanwhile, are tipping the scales at around £1.5million for the month of June 2015 alone.

The trust is currently battling to emerge from financial crisis and need to initiate immediate action to tackle its adverse financial position.

In addition it has to make savings of over £15million-a -year.

With the deficit for month three currently £2.4million over the planned £10.3million, the authority needs to take drastic action to bring the trust back towards its financial plan.

“We have to keep using the independent sector and this needs to be tackled in the Recovery Plan,” Mr Gentile added. “We can never be satisfied with not delivering to plan – it is not acceptable to have this performance.”

The increase was attributed to the sheer workload faced by NHS staff across Worcestershire along with sickness, and vacancies.

The trust has been hit by a series of crises which have affected staff morale.

Following the news, acting chief executive, Chris Tidman, commented: “I would rather we over-hire nurses than keep going to very expensive agencies.”

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