Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 12°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

Shelley Singh

Police are appealing for help in tracing a missing 30-year-old woman from Sudbury.

Paul Flatman has been sentenced after more than 6,000 chickens died at Hawksmill Farm

A farmer has been ordered to pay more than £12,000 and has been given a suspended prison sentence for failing to follow animal welfare advice.

Gerald West leaves Ipswich Crown Court

Oakwood School’s former deputy head teacher and one of its care workers have been given 12-month conditional discharges for assaulting pupils.

The old Oakwood School in Stowmarket.

The former headteacher of a Suffolk school has been jailed for seven years for sexual offences against children.

The company of Slice of Saturday Night

There was an Emile Zola quote on the front of the programme for West Suffolk College’s production of 60s musical, A Slice of Saturday Night: “If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”

Colchester High Street

Two sisters have been charged in connection with the theft of an 89-year-old woman’s purse in Colchester.

Image issued by the British Geological Survey of a graphic showing where an earthquake struck in Sandwich, Kent. Photo: British Geological Survey

Earth tremors have been felt in Suffolk and Essex after a 4.3 magnitude earthquake struck Kent.

The crash on the A12 near Wickham Market.

A lorry and van crashed on the A12 near Wickham Market after a blow-out tyre puncture.

Police Officers. Picture: Ian Burt

Two officers who were based at Braintree have been dismissed from Essex Police for gross misconduct.

Abby Curtis who is opening Pump and Grind coffee shop in Great Colman Street with Tom Kerridge

The business team behind a new cafe have said they are disappointed they will not able to serve alcohol when opening for the first time on Saturday.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages