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Agency Nurses

Volume 124: debated on Wednesday 16 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will supply details of the rates of fees payable to BUPA nursing and other private agencies for the supply of state enrolled nurses, state registered nurses and sisters to National Health Service hospitals in the period 1979 to date.

[holding answer 11 December 1987]: The maximum payment to a nurses' agency for work undertaken by an agency nurse consists of three elements: the nurse's salary, which is calculated on the mean of the appropriate National Health Service nursing and midwifery staffs pay scale; the agency's commission which can vary; and the employer's national insurance contribution. It is for health authorities to negotiate the best possible rate of commission with nurses' agencies for the supply of staff to meet short term needs. Some authorities are negotiating more favourable rates by putting these services out to tender.