£1.7k bill for agency nurse

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By The Sentinel | Tuesday, January 22, 2013, 08:00

BOSSES at Stafford Hospital have justified paying an agency £1,794 for a specialist nurse to work 13.5 hours in its A&E department.

The sum – paid in December 2011 – was revealed under a Freedom of Information request about how much hiring temporary staff is costing the NHS.

Hospital nursing director Colin Ovington said the trust sometimes had to employ agency workers, and that on such occasions patient safety was given a higher priority than cost.

He added: "This means that we have to pay the going rate for those staff who are available to cover, sometimes at short notice. These costs are often extremely high due to the agency's fees."

The payment was for a specialist working on a bank holiday weekend.



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