Britain’s National Health Service is paying as much as 1,600 pounds ($2,488) a day for temporary nurses to fill staff shortages, suggesting that hospitals’ attempts to improve efficiency have failed, the Sunday Telegraph reported.
Private agencies that supply temporary staff are getting as much as 1,600 pounds a shift for specialist nurses, more than seven times than the 212-pound rate paid to NHS nurses, the newspaper said, citing disclosures under Freedom of Information Act. The agencies receive as much as 1,400 pounds a day for general-care nurses, compared with the 188 pounds the NHS pays to staff, the Sunday Telegraph said.
NHS hospitals have cut jobs as the medical system seeks to save 20 billion pounds by 2015, according to the newspaper. Shifts filled by temporary nurses rose by more than 50 percent in a year, the newspaper said. The fees paid to agencies include a commission, NHS hospitals told the Sunday Telegraph.