£10million temp bill for Basildon Hospital

Echo: Basildon Hospital Basildon Hospital

TROUBLED Basildon Hospital spent an eye-watering £10.2million on temporary staff last year, despite hundreds of posts sitting vacant.

The Echo has learned the trust almost doubled the amount it spent on agency staff in the last financial year.

In comparison, bosses shelled out £6.5million on stop-gap employees in 2011/12.

The huge sums emerged as it was revealed the hospital had the equivalent of 262 full-time posts vacant just last week.

The hospital employed 215 agency staff during the last financial year.

Health campaigners have questioned why more permanent recruits are not employed. It has also emerged the hospital spent £792,000 last year getting rid of just 20 employees, one of whom was earning up to £100,000.

Dan Chapple, who founded the Basildon branch of Cure the NHS after growing concerns about his mother’s care, said: “I know agency staff are sometimes a necessary evil, but why don’t they employ full-time staff?

Throughout our investigations we found there was no consistency in care, with employees working with different people from week to week.

“There is no cohesion with agency staff and they are not cost-effective, either. It’s a dreadful idea.”

Bosses at the trust claimed the figures could be explained by the trust’s drive to employ more people last year, as well as extra staff to cover absence and sickness.

Of the £10million, £2.9million was spent on nursing staff to plug gaps. Bosses have since beefed up their recruitment.

They cast their net to Spain and the Philippines, with 200 extra nurses permanently brought in to help during the busy winter period.

A total of 4,029 permanent staff were employed at the hospital, at a total cost of £140million.

A hospital spokesman said: “Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust made a conscious decision to invest more in increasing the number of nursing and clinical staff, to improve the standard of care it delivers to patients.

“This includes the creation of 200 additional nursing posts, and additional consultants.

“These vacancies have, in the short term, been filled by agency staff, to ensure patients benefit immediately.

“The trust has now recruited permanent staff to the majority of these additional posts, and these staff are joining the hospital on a daily basis.

“As a result, the trust is seeing a month-on- month reduction in its agency spend.”

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:01pm Thu 28 Nov 13

Tich25 says...

Agency staff must be of a certain standard and because they are paid more being agency the pay scale should be looked at to get the right people to get agency people on direct employment
Agency staff must be of a certain standard and because they are paid more being agency the pay scale should be looked at to get the right people to get agency people on direct employment Tich25

10:14pm Thu 28 Nov 13

emcee says...

It is true theat agencies are paid extortionately high fees for staff but these high fees rarely filter down to the actual staff themselves, especially lower ranking staff. Often they are paid lower rates than permanent staff. You must also remember that temp staff often like working for agencies because they can often pick and choose the hours they wish to work or which shifts they accept. This is very convenient if you have children, for example.
It is true theat agencies are paid extortionately high fees for staff but these high fees rarely filter down to the actual staff themselves, especially lower ranking staff. Often they are paid lower rates than permanent staff. You must also remember that temp staff often like working for agencies because they can often pick and choose the hours they wish to work or which shifts they accept. This is very convenient if you have children, for example. emcee

11:18am Tue 3 Dec 13

Vange Resident says...

Has anyone asked the director of finance as to how he justified this expenditure?
Has anyone asked the director of finance as to how he justified this expenditure? Vange Resident

9:46pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Mikkel1 says...

Far too many directors are OVERPAID and in a number of Industries, while the TRUE workers are given a pittance compared to them.
Far too many directors are OVERPAID and in a number of Industries, while the TRUE workers are given a pittance compared to them. Mikkel1

3:51pm Thu 5 Dec 13

stevet says...

I have just lefet Basildon Hospital after a major operation the surgeons and nurses were top class who treated me.

But when i stayed at the hospital overnight for two evenings i was shocked at the poor level of the night nursing many had no idea of what thet were doing and many had sush a poor grasp of the english language that i felt unsafe in that environment if there was a emergency.

I got out pretty quick but its not all bad but i have to question that recruiting anyone to fill numbers is a danger to patients care.
I have just lefet Basildon Hospital after a major operation the surgeons and nurses were top class who treated me. But when i stayed at the hospital overnight for two evenings i was shocked at the poor level of the night nursing many had no idea of what thet were doing and many had sush a poor grasp of the english language that i felt unsafe in that environment if there was a emergency. I got out pretty quick but its not all bad but i have to question that recruiting anyone to fill numbers is a danger to patients care. stevet

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree