More than £2.5 million spent in a year by Peterborough’s NHS Trust on agency nurses

Peterborough City Hospital, Bretton

Peterborough City Hospital, Bretton

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More than £2.5 million was spent on agency nurses in a year by Peterborough and Stamford NHS Foundation Trust.

Figures obtained by the Royal College of Nursing in the East of England revealed that between April 1 2013 and March 31 2014, the Trust spent £2.7 million on agency nurses.

That is over half a million pounds more than in the previous 12 months when £2.1 million was spent.

The figure puts the Trust in seventh out of 18 in a list of Trusts in the East of England who have spent the most on agency nurses.

In total, the region’s Trusts spent more than £48 million on agency nurses over the 12 month period compared to £28.5 million the previous year.

The local Trust runs Peterborough City Hospital and Stamford and Rutland Hospital.

It was also revealed that the number of nursing vacancies at the Trust as of September 30 2014 was 110 compared to 131 12 months earlier.

The Trust has recruited nurses from: Rome, Milan, Madrid, Malaga, Athens, Portugal and Romania.

A spokesperson for the Trust, said: “The Trust is continuing to work on various recruitment events, both nationally and overseas.

“So far, we have reduced our vacancy rate considerably but we have had to take into consideration the loss of our Ministry of Defence Hospital Unit staff last year, which did have an impact on nursing levels despite the increased efforts on recruitment.

“In addition to that, in 2014 the National Strategy for Nursing and Midwifery set out new legislation which called for an increased workforce to ensure safer staffing levels nationally.

“This meant that we had to further concentrate our efforts on recruitment and will continue to do so into this year.

“The hourly rate for an agency nurse varies depending on the grade of nurse and the agency used to source them. Therefore it isn’t possible to provide an average hourly rate.”

Asked whether the figures could be split up for both of the Trust’s Hospitals, the spokesperson added: “Our hospital figures are given as a whole Trust.

“Our nurses often work across sites so there isn’t a direct divide between Stamford and the City Hospital.”

The Trust has also annouced that it is offering support for qualified nurses to return to professional practice in either adult or children’s nursing.

Returning nurses, it is said, will be supported with placement opportunities in various specialties with clinical educators working alongside them.

For more information contact clinical educator Leanne Albon at leanne.albon@pbh-tr.nhs.uk

Alternatively, visit the information sessions held at Guild House, Swain Court, Oundle Road, Peterborough, on Wednesday March 4 and Tuesday May 19 from 1pm to 3pm.