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NHS defended on temp spend

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NHS defended on temp spend

NHS spend on temporary workers is far from
“wasteful”. So says a temp sector player.

spending on temporary agency workers is far from “wasteful” according to
temporary agency labour specialist, which manages the supply of agency workers
to several leading care organisations, rebuked the claims made by the
Conservatives, that money was being wasted on temporary staff.

It argues
that temporary workers were crucial during 2009 to keep services running after
a long-standing skills shortage in the care sector was intensified by
restrictions on migrant workers and the new Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS).

de Poel
believes that temporary agency workers have always had a key role in allowing
public sector care organisations to respond to market shifts and periods of
increased demand for services, and should not be attacked. Its remarks came
after government figures showed NHS spending on temps rose 60 percent in two
years – hitting almost £1.3bn in England in 2008.

Executive of de Poel, Matthew Sanders, said: “Temporary agency workers have
always had a crucial part to play in the care sector, but last year the effects
of a skills-shortage, changes to the immigration points-based system and the
introduction of the VBS meant demand shot up.

“We would be
better if we put less into denying the importance of temporary workers and more
into regulating and improving the industry, recognising the value of temporary
workers during certain periods. He continued: “Use of agency staff is only
detrimental when it is left unmanaged. If rates are standardised to their
optimal level, if formal terms of business are introduced and if organisations
can restrict the number of suppliers to a select audited few, then they can
actually prove extremely valuable in allowing organisations to be more flexible
and responsive.”

4 January 2010


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