§ Mr. Kirkwood
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if he will make a statement on the cost to the National Health Service per annum of employing agency doctors;305W
(2) if he has any plans to restrict charges made by agencies supplying doctors to the National Health Service.
§ Mr. Newton
The estimated cost to health authorities in England of medical and dental staff engaged through agencies is £14.9 million. This represents 1.18 per cent. of the pay bill for medical and dental staff, compared with 0.84 per cent. in 1979.80. We have no plans at present to restrict the charges made by agencies, but a number of health authorities are currently taking or considering steps to contain costs and reduce reliance on agencies, and we shall be monitoring their progress.