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Nhs Services (Gloucestershire)

Volume 408: debated on Thursday 3 July 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the use of (a) temporary nurses and (b) locum doctors in the NHS in Gloucestershire. [121875]

A range of initiatives is under way to get better value for temporary staff in the national health service. Along with the roll-out of NHS Professionals, the aim is to reduce agency costs and to improve the quality of staff through agency framework

NHS Hospital and Community Health Service Nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff by Ethnic group (excluding agency and learners)
England as at September 2001Percentage
Old Ethnic CodesNew Ethnic Codes
All groupsWhiteBlackAsianOtherWhiteMixedAsian or Asian BritishBlack or Black BritishOtherTotal ethnic minority groups
All nursing, midwifery and100.
Qualified staff100.
Nurse Consultant100.
Nurse manager100.
Registered sick children's nurse100.
Registered midwife100.
Health vistor100.
District nurse100.
Other first level registration100.
Other second level registration100.
Unqualified staff100.


Figures should be treated with caution as they are based upon the 68 of HCHS organisations that reported valid ethnic codes for 90 or more of non-medical staff, and further exclude staff whose ethnicity is not recorded. Percentages were calculated from numbers of staff expressed as headcount. Sum of parts may not equal totals due to rounding.


Department of Health 2001 non-medical workforce census.

agreements. Agency framework agreements fix the cost of agency staff, which can only increase in line with the recommendations of the pay review body.

NHS trusts are using the National Medical Locum Agency contract, with the contract value in the first quarter being £15 million. This is expected to show an average saving of 6 per cent. per trust on medical locum expenditure per annum.

The aim is to roll-out agency agreements and NHS Professionals to cover all aspects of the temporary healthcare labour market. This means covering not just nurses and doctors, but also the allied health professions and other healthcare professionals.

Medical locums are already covered by a national agency framework agreement, and a NHS Professionals service for doctors is being developed.

By ensuring that all temporary staffing demand is handled through NHS Professionals, the savings and outcomes from the agency project will be maximised. The new NHS Professionals special health authority will enable better strategic management of the healthcare temporary staffing labour market and ensure that all NHS trusts are using NHS Professionals by April 2005.

Avon Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Strategic Health Authority has advised that trusts in Gloucestershire are working towards using NHS Professionals by the target date of April 2005 and are using, or working towards using, the National Medical Locum Agency contract.