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NHS boss: 'One in seven' operations not necessary

A generic stock photo of an operation taking place at Queen Elizabeth Hospaital, Birmingham. Credit: PA

The medical director of NHS England has reveaked that up to one in seven hospital procedures are unnecessary, it has been reported.

Sir Bruce Keogh is said to have described waste in the health service as "profligate" and called for it to be reduced.

According to The Sunday Telegraph, the former heart surgeon estimated that up to 15% of the NHS budget is spent on treatments that should not take place.

The newspaper reported that analysis by his staff showed unnecessary operations and medication cost the health service up to £1.8 billion a year.

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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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