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Derriford Hospital spent thousands coping with black alert

Derriford Hospital spends thousands coping with black alert Credit: ITV News

Derriford Hospital spent nearly £2 million on over time and agency staff in just one month as it coped with huge demand due to its black alert status.

For the first three months of this year the Plymouth hospital declared black alert as it dealt with what it describes as "unprecedented and sustained" demand.

As people will know, we faced a significant period of unprecedented and sustained demand on our emergency and medical services, which impacted right across the hospital.

During this time, on numerous occasions, we put out internal and public appeals to our staff to ask if they would work extra shifts and offering overtime, to enable us to meet the pressures we faced and to ensure our patients continued to be well cared for. Our staff responded admirable during these difficult times.

It was also necessary for us to have a flexible temporary workforce resource during this time. We did this by redeploying staff and utilising NHS Professionals (our supplier of bank staff) and where these options were not available to us then, as an absolute last resort, we used agency staff.

– Kevin Baber, Chief Operating Officer for Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust