Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 8°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Bury St Edmunds: West Suffolk Hospital spent £9million on locums

13:45 30 November 2012

West Suffolk Hospital

West Suffolk Hospital

Archant

A HOSPITAL has spent more than £9million on locum doctors and nurses over the last three years, because it could not find “suitable staff.”

shares

Bosses at West Suffolk Hospital, who are trying to save £9million this year, said the spend on nursing and medical agencies was necessary to ensure “high quality services” were maintained.

Yesterday David Ruffley, MP for Bury St Edmunds, said he had been informed by senior doctors that newly qualified medical professionals were choosing to emigrate rather than work in the county.

According to figures released under the Freedom of Information Act, in 2010 to 2011 the Bury-based hospital spent £3,528,877 on medical agencies, which supply doctors and consultants, with another £510,986 going on nurses.

Last year saw a similar amount – £3,442,474 – paid to medical agencies, while the amount spent on locum nurses dropped almost £400,000 to £117,221.

The most recent figures, those from between April and October 2012, show that £1,788,884 was spent on medical agency staff with nursing costs running at just £1,758.

Mr Ruffley said the figures acted as a “shocking confirmation” of the costs caused by a lack of doctors “for whatever reason.”

He added: “This is certainly something I will take up with Stephen Graves, chief executive of West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust, when I meet with him on Friday afternoon.

“It also confirms that a meeting I had with West Suffolk Commissioning Group who said, to my surprise, that there is a shortage of doctors in Suffolk.

“The medical schools are just not producing enough doctors who want to practise here.”

Mr Ruffley said from his understanding a large number of medical students get trained by the NHS and then move abroad to Australia and New Zealand.

He added: “It certainly seems to be a problem in Suffolk in recruiting GPs and doctors in hospitals and the EADT figures confirm that picture.”

Mr Ruffley said he would “personally” raise the issue with the health secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Jan Bloomfield, executive director of workforce and communications at West Suffolk Hospital, said: “Like many other hospitals, we have been finding it difficult to fill vacancies in some areas due to nation-wide shortages of suitable staff.

“As a result, we use agency cover to ensure we can continue to offer a safe, effective and high quality service to our patients.”

She added that spending on agencies has reduced due to the appointment of “more substantive staff during recent months.”

A spokeswoman added that the trust was on target to make savings of £9million this year.

shares

1 comment

  • This lack of staff in hospitals and the big shortage in Care Homes, meaning that some staff work very long hours and are exhausted and that patient care suffers is due to immigration controls ... but you the majority of the British public want that, so you have yourselves to blame. When you ask a government to control immigration it is not smart enough to allow in health care workers; it stops everyone ...... except the very wealthy, of course.

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Friday, November 30, 2012

The scene of a thatch fire in Stoke-by-Nayland

A picturesque country cottage is still standing today despite a fire ripping through its thatched roof.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train

Rail services between London Liverpool Street and Norwich have been cancelled after a train fault at Diss.

Ipswich Town v Arsenal  FA Cup Final at Wembley 1978 - 

Kevin Beattie and Allan Hunter

It is an impassioned debate which never fails to invigorate the East Anglian derby.

Colchester Half-Marathon. Starting and finishing at Weston Homes Community Stadium.

Competitors braved the dismal morning weather today to take part in the Colchester Half Marathon.

The scene after the thatched roof fire in Stoke by Nayland - Picture credit - Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service

Ten fire crews tackled a thatched roof blaze in a Suffolk village overnight.

Sir John French: a colourful character and respected soldier

We’ve heard about the Suffolk men who fought at the battle of Neuve Chapelle.

Ipswich Crown Court

A 19-year old man who met up with a 13-year-old girl and exchanged text messages with her despite being given a police caution for kissing her several months earlier has been sentenced to 21 months youth detention.

St Edmundsbury Cathedral overlooking colourful displays in the Abbey Gardens

Suffolk’s most important religious building has been awarded a £300,000 Government grant to pay for urgent roof repairs.

Josephine Murphy

An 86-year-old woman who had gone missing from Clacton has been found safe and well

Aftermath of a barn fire in Holton.

A television antiques expert has appealed for help rebuilding his eco-friendly arts centre in Suffolk after a major blaze destroyed the historic sawmill that was to be its showroom and workshops.

Most read

Topic pages