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NHS temporary staffing bill “skyrockets” to £10.4bn

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.q140 (Published 18 January 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q140
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. London

The annual cost of using agency and bank staff to provide healthcare in the NHS across the UK has risen to more than £10bn, an analysis has found.

A report1 by specialist healthcare data analyst LaingBuisson found that the UK’s agency healthcare staffing market value was £5.1bn in 2022-23—most of which (£4.6bn) was spent on hospital staff while the remaining £500m was spent on hiring GP locums and temporary staff for independent hospitals.

An additional £5.8bn was spent on bank staff—where a trust’s own staff are used to fill shifts rather than using an outside agency. In England this meant a £10.4bn total spend on non-permanent staffing in 2022-23. Figures on bank staff for the rest of the UK are less clear so were excluded …

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