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Royal College of Nursing targets agency spending

The RCN says the rise in agency staff in the South West is compromising quality Credit: PA

The Royal College of Nursing is calling on NHS employers to value its nurses as the amount of money spent on agency staff soars.

£59.6m
Spent on agency NHS staff in 2015 so far
£72.6m
Spent on agency NHS staff in the whole of 2014

The RCN says relying on agency staff to plug the gap is unsustainable.

NHS trusts are trying to plug the vacancy gap, to ensure that patients get the care they need, by relying on agencies to supply temporary staff but this is not a sustainable approach.

Any organisation relying so heavily on temporary staff is risking compromising quality and in the NHS that means risking patient safety.

– Jeannett Martin, regional director for the South West region, the Royal College of Nursing