Hospital in England pays £5,200 for doctor’s agency shift

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Hospitals in England have paid up to £5,200 for a single agency doctor shift, amid growing pressure on the NHS.

Labour said that the figure, which the party obtained through a freedom of information request, shows the extent of the staffing crisis facing English hospitals.

It shared figures showing that the NHS has been forced to spend billions of pounds on doctors and nurses, provided by agencies, to staff under pressure hospital trusts.

The most expensive shift was £5,234, the party said, and was paid by a trust in the north of England.

Labour said that one in three NHS trusts paid an agency more than £3,000 for a single doctor’s shift last year, while three quarters paid more than £2,000.

The party has promised to tackle staff shortages in the NHS by doubling the number of medical school places to train 15,000 doctors a year and training 10,000 new nurses and midwives every year, with plans too to double the number of qualifying district nurses.

Wes Streeting, Labour’s shadow health secretary, said: “Desperate hospitals are forced to pay rip-off fees to agencies, because the Conservatives have failed to train enough doctors and nurses over the past 12 years.

“It is infuriating that, while taxpayers are paying over the odds on agency doctors, the Government has cut medical school places, turning away thousands of straight-A students in England.”

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