Thursday, June 07, 2007

Temping Angels

Nurse Klench still on the job

Regular readers will be familiar with the long running scandal of temporary nursing staff employed by the NHS. They are more expensive than permanent staff, may well not be properly trained or even qualified, and are difficult to manage on the wards.

Yet the NHS routinely employs thousands every day. Costing taxpayers millions and taking risks with patient safety.

Last December we blogged the Public Accounts Committee meeting where NHS mandarins were grilled about it ( see here for Tyler eye-witness account; and for blog on original NAO report see here).

The mandarins were distinctly unimpressive, reinforcing the picture of shambolically awful management in the NHS. In fact, they came across as not really being on top of anything, arguing that it was for those further down the command structure to make all such decisions. As one irritated PAC member put it, "what's the point of you lot then?"

The issue was crystallised when they were floored by the straightforward and basic question of how many temps are actually employed. They just didn't know (even though one PAC member was able to cobble together his own reasonable estimate in just 5 minutes). They were told to go away and find out, and their answer is presented in the PAC's latest report:

Because temps work various hours- and many are moonlighting full-time NHS nurses working double shifts (how safe does that sound?)- you have to look at shifts worked. These peaked at around 11m in 2002-03 and have since fallen somewhat. But they remain 75% higher than a decade ago, and the cost is running at well over £1bn pa.

Overall, the DoH estimates there are 37,000 full-time equivalent temp nurses, which is 11% of the 322,000 (fte) workforce. Their cost is about 9% of the overall wage bill (implying that temps are more likely to be at the more junior levels).

As we've blogged before, employment of temps on that scale is a sign of management failure, and the PAC spells out the grisly details:
  • Trusts have not taken a strategic and managed approach to controlling the demand for temporary nursing

  • When booking temporary cover, ward staff do not have sufficient information to determine the most cost-effective procurement route

  • Trusts do not monitor, in a systematic way, the full costs of using temporary nursing staff

  • At least 30% of permanent nurses and at least 39% temporary staff are still not receiving mandatory basic life support training

  • There are no systems or safeguards to enable a trust to know whether a temporary nurse has exceeded the safe level of hours set under the European Working Time Directive

  • Trusts continue to use agencies that are not on the framework agreements

This is dire. It is a total failure of both strategy and execution. In the private sector, it would result in certain extinction. But in the NHS, it just rolls along year after year. We taxpayers pick up the tab, and we patients take the risks.


  1. Bạn cần dịch vụ vận chuyển. Hãy đến với chúng tôi giao nhận 247. Với đa dạng các dịch vụ về vận chuyển có thể kể đến như: chuyển hàng từ Đài Loan về Việt Nam, gửi hàng từ úc về Việt Nam, ship hàng Đức về Việt Nam, chuyển hàng từ Hàn Quốc về Việt Nam giá rẻ...
    Ngoài ra chúng tôi còn có dịch vụ chuyển hàng từ pháp về việt nam. Nếu bạn ở Việt Nam và cần chuyển ra nước ngoài thì đã có dịch vụ chuyển hàng từ Việt Nam sang Đài Loannhận chuyển hàng từ Việt Nam sang Hàn Quốc để bạn sử dụng. Hãy liên hệ với chúng tôi khi cần nhé.

  2. Chuyên mua bán các loại thực phẩm chức năng dành cho sức khỏe người dùng như đông trùng hạ thảo tenken, sâm alipas, Sâm angela, sữa rửa mặt neutrogena, thuốc bổ cho bà bầu elevit
    hay những sản phẩm bổ xung calcium+600mg+++d3.
    Ngoài ra chúng tôi còn giải đáp những thắc mắc về thuốc của các bạn thông qua những bài viết như: vigrx plus co tot khong,