HC Deb 21 March 1989 vol 149 cc583-4W
Mr. Patchett

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will provide a breakdown of agency staff employed in the National Health Service; intemising(a) what jobs they do, (b) what the agencies are paid for their work and (c) what comparable payments are made to those same grades employed by the National Health Service.

Mr. Mellor

[holding answer 3 March 1989]: A breakdown of agency nursing and midwifery staff and medical and dental staff employed in the National Health Service is shown in the table.

We do not collect figures for other agency staff or information on health authorities' expenditure specifically for agency staff centrally.

It is for authorities at local level to determine with agencies rates of pay. However, the Department has set the following guidelines for nursing and midwifery staff and medical and dental staff respectively: That authorities pay nurse agencies a maximum calculated on the mean of the appropriate NHS nursing staffs pay scale for the grade plus the agency commission and the employer's national insurance contribution. Payments to locum medical agencies are currently to be restricted to no more than was being charged at 31 March 1988. Future arrangements are under consideration.

NHS staff in post in England Agency staff in nursing and midwifery and medical and dental at 30 September 1987 Whole time equivalents1
Nursing 5,900
Midwifery 300
Nursing and midwifery 6,100
Medical and dental2 600
Nursing and midwifery2 Medical and dental2 (Total) 6,700

Source: Department of Health (SR7) annual censuses of medical and non-medical manpower.

1 Figures independently rounded to nearest 100 whole-time equivalents.

2 In previous years medical and dental agency locums were not separately identified.

Directly employed locums are now included in medical and dental staff data.

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