The House of Commons Committee of Public Accounts has published a report on the use of temporary staff in the NHS. This document shows that over £1 billion has been spent on employing temporary nurses.
General secretary of the RCN, Dr Peter Carter, said: 'Spending more than a billion pounds a year on temporary nursing staff in the NHS is just too high a price to pay. It is further evidence of ineffective management, poor workforce planning and an unacceptable waste of money.
'It is profoundly depressing that today's report raises exactly the same issues as those of the Audit Commission's report ‘Brief Encounters' in 2001. Both reports highlight a lack of a strategic approach to the use of temporary nursing staff in the NHS, poor control of costs, ineffective procurement and a lack of monitoring regarding safe levels of working hours and training. The clear recommendations made in 2001 have simply been ignored.'
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