Hospital is ready to axe agency nurses

WESTON General Hospital is to end the routine use of expensive agency nurses from April, saving the cash-strapped trust £500,000 a year. Agency nurses are used to cover things such as staff sickness or holidays, but are more expensive than full-time worke

WESTON General Hospital is to end the routine use of expensive agency nurses from April, saving the cash-strapped trust £500,000 a year.Agency nurses are used to cover things such as staff sickness or holidays, but are more expensive than full-time workers.During February, a busy month for the hospital, it spent £67,000 on a number of agency nurses.But the hospital announced it will stop hiring agency staff in all but exceptional circumstances.It is able to do this because it now has enough cover nurses on its books to fill most gaps caused by sickness and holidays.Weston General Hospital in Grange Road, Uphill, expects to run £6.6m over budget by the end of the financial year and has been told to break even by the Government.A hospital spokesman said: "One of the major components of our financial recovery plan was to reduce our reliance on expensive agency nurses."The hospital is pleased to be in a position now that it will no longer needs to use trained nurses from agencies from next month, except in exceptional circumstances. "This is because it has built up enough trained nurses on its own bank to cover sickness and annual leave vacancies. This is a good example of the hospital achieving success through its financial recovery strategy.


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