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Spending on locums has risen 60% since 2009 in English emergency departments

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g245 (Published 14 January 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g245
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

NHS trusts in England are spending around 60% more on locum doctors to fill staffing gaps in hospital emergency departments than in 2009, new data show.

The Labour Party has released data showing that spending on emergency locums rose from £51.9m (€62.3m; $85.2m) in 2009-10 to £83.3m in 2012-13, a 60.2% rise.

Labour’s shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, said that the figures were evidence of a “dangerous shortage” of emergency doctors.

Labour sent Freedom of Information Act requests to every hospital trust in England with an accident and emergency department and received responses from 107 of 145 trusts. The responses also showed that each trust spent on average £785 941 on emergency locums in 2012-13. …

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