NHS Professionals is the largest single supplier of flexible staffing to the NHS. I believe that the NHS should maintain a flexible workforce, with adequate supplies of temporary staff, which can meet the shifting needs of the health service.
The Government wants to maintain a healthy supply of permanent and flexible labour to the NHS, which will tackle agency staffing costs, and ensure maximum value for the taxpayer. I am encouraged to note that agency spend came down by £700 million last year. NHS Professionals helps by saving £70 million a year through supplying staff to hospitals at more affordable rates.
The Government's aim is always to improve patient care. I am sure its actions to reduce agency spend will be focused on that objective, and that every pound of the NHS budget is spend as efficiently as possible.
Due to the commercially sensitive nature of this process, the Government will not make any specific comment on this issue. I will however continue to follow this matter with interest, and look forward to ensuring that our NHS has the staff that it needs to provide the best possible care.