Hospital’s millions on temporary staff

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HOSPITAL chiefs have spent close to £18 million on employing temporary staff at Scarborough Hospital, it has been revealed.

The figures, which are for the past three years, were disclosed following a Freedom of Information request to the Scarborough NHS Trust by the Evening News.

They show that since April 2009 the trust has spent £17,563,000 on hiring short-term staff after struggling to lure top doctors and nurses to the town permanently. Between 2010 and 2011, the trust spent over a quarter of that money on temporary medical staff alone.

Mike Proctor, chief executive of the trust, said: “For a number of years Scarborough has had difficulty in recruiting permanent staff particularly to speciality roles. These posts can be costly to cover on temporary contracts and through locum arrangements.”

There was some good news for the trust as well, with the total annual spend falling by over a million pound last year, dropping to £5,587,000 from £6,630,000 the previous year.

Mr Proctor added: “Reducing costs in this area has been a priority since work to integrate Scarborough and York began and we are pleased to see that these costs have reduced significantly over the past year.”

He also said that their upcoming merger with the York trust should help lower the costs significantly, adding: “One of the major benefits of becoming part of a larger teaching organisation is the opportunity to attract high calibre staff into substantive roles benefiting both patients and staff.”

In the three years the numbers were made available for, the trust spent £11,371,000 on employing medical staff.

l £4,012,000 was spent employing nursing staff at the hospital, with the yearly individual amount increasing in each of the three years.

l £974,000 spent on short-term professional and technical staff, with the yearly number also rising sharply each year.

l £1,206,000 was spent on administrative staff by the trust. However, the yearly spend has decreased every year since the figures were made available.

No figures were obtained from the trust over how many staff are currently employed on a temporary basis.