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Employment agencies being made 'scapegoats' over NHS

'Poor workforce planning' is to blame for rising staff costs in the NHS not the tactics of employment agencies, according to an recruitment expert.

Tom Hadley, director of policy at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, which advises the government on the labour market, told ITV News that the government had sets its aim on the wrong target over the issue.

"The real reason why costs have escalated is because there's a huge demand for staff in the NHS, so the real challenge is how do we bring more people into the NHS," he said.

Agency staff shouldn't be 'the norm', says health secretary

Jeremy Hunt has set his sights on the agencies who supply staff to the NHS, accusing them of ripping off the taxpayer.

The Health Secretary, who has today launched plans to limit the role of employment agencies within the Health Service, told ITV News how non-permanent staff shouldn't be used as the "norm".

"There will always be a need for agency staff... but they should be there for those times when there is a cold snap, when there's a flu outbreak, when you have sudden spike in demand you couldn't predict," he said.

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BMA: PM's NHS speech 'empty headline-grabbing'

British Medical Association council chairman Dr Mark Porter has dismissed David Cameron's speech on the NHS as being "empty headline-grabbing".

Earlier, the Prime reaffirmed his commitment to "transform" health services and "become the first country in the world to deliver a truly seven-day NHS".

Crucially, the £8 billion promised by the Prime Minister is the bare minimum needed for the NHS to simply stand still and will not pay for extra services. The real question for the Government is how they plan to deliver additional care when the NHS is facing a funding gap of £30 billion and there is a chronic shortage of GPs and hospital doctors, especially in acute and emergency medicine, where access to 24-hour care is vital.

Without the answer to these questions this announcement is empty headline-grabbing and shows that, even after polling day, politicians are still avoiding the difficult questions and continuing to play games with the NHS.

– British Medical Association council chairman Dr Mark Porter
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