Jamie Hailstone 31 May 2013

Spending on care agency staff risen by 22% says report

Spending on health and social care agency staff and flexible workers has increased by 22% over the last five years, according to new research.

A report published today by Laing and Buisson claims the market for flexible health and care staffing was worth around £8.4bn last year.

According to the research, this is due in part to increased demand from NHS hospitals for agency staff, but the UK growing homecare market and local authority cutbacks have also contributed.

‘The current commissioning environment within the NHS has the potential to encourage a smoother trend in agency spending in the long-term,’ said report author, Philip Blackburn.

‘This will be driven in the short-term by changes in demand needs and less so by inflationary pressures on agency prices.

‘However, at the same time the cyclical, and often volatile, nature of NHS staffing needs may limit the strength of control levers on flexible staffing spending patterns.’

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