Health secretary says agency staff is not the way forward

Shukrya Saida signs up for further information and vouchers, helped by Shona Green. Picture: Vernon Nash

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EMPLOYING huge numbers of agency staff in the NHS is not sustainable, the health secretary has admitted.

Jeremy Hunt’s comments to BBC Radio 5 Live come amid the news that Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs community services in Hampshire, spent £14.5m last year on agency staff – double the amount from two years previously.

Mr Hunt said: ‘We are going to employ more staff.

‘As a short-term measure they employed a lot of agency staff to get staff in quickly. But that’s not sustainable in the long-run and that’s why we have to tackle these deficits.’