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U.K. hospitals paid nurses $2,500 a day
A nursing shortage in Britain resulted in some hospitals paying agency temporary nurses $2,500 a day, an investigation by The Sunday Telegraph found.
Disclosures revealed from the Freedom of Information Act showed that since 2009, private staffing agencies were paid up to $2,500 per shift for specialist nurses, compared with an average rate of about $250 a day for those on a regular Nations Health Service payroll, the Telegraph reported.
Experts explained the disclosures showed some hospitals attempted to improve their efficiency and budgets by cutting nursing staffs, only to hire temporary staff at much as seven times the regular payroll.
The Telegraph’s research found 39 trusts — about one-quarter of all trusts in England — showed 21,000 nursing shifts were filled by temporary agency staff during the month of March, an increase from about 14,000 one year earlier.
Dr. Peter Carter, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said the situation demonstrated “lamentable” planning by the National Health Service, which made budget cuts that left hospitals at the mercy of high rates charged by agencies.
The Royal College of Nursing said earlier this year nurses had been stretched to breaking point with more than 26,000 front-line posts lost during the first year of the budget cuts.
Copyright 2012 by United Press International