Welsh Government slammed over ‘preposterous’ spending on NHS agency staff
Plaid Cymru has accused the Welsh Government of “failing to get a grip” on “out of control” spending on private agency staff in the NHS.
According to new figures published by the government, the spend on NHS agency staff was over £320 million last year, £70 million more than was spent in 2021 and the equivalent of 6% of the total NHS Wales bill.
Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, Plaid Cymru spokesperson for health and care said it’s “preposterous” to see “private companies profiteering from Labour mismanagement of the NHS in Wales.”
Out of control
“The spend on private agency staff is out of control. Year on year this figure escalates, proving that the Labour Welsh Government has utterly failed to get a grip on this spend, despite repeated assurances that the issued will be addressed, Mr ap Iorwerth added.
“We said this in January when we heard that last year’s spend was £260m – now we understand the real figure is over £320m.
“It is preposterous to think that, at a time when Welsh Government say they have no money to make an improved pay offer to striking workers, that so much money is going to private firms.
“The situation is especially absurd when staff are leaving NHS employ in droves, for the greater flexibility and control offered by agency work – and often come back to work in the same place they’ve just left, just at a greater cost to the NHS.
“We’ve arrived at this place because of years of Labour mismanagement. They must now take the responsibility and lead the NHS Wales away from this over-reliance on private agencies, be that by creating a public agency, or simply building in the flexibility that NHS staff need into existing contracts.
“In fact, we need both! Welsh Government must show they are serious about addressing these spiralling costs.”
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