Trust slashes agency costs

East Sussex NHS Trust has slashed the amount of money it spends on temporary staff by more than £800,000.

Conquest Hospital, Hastings. SUS-150615-132748001
Conquest Hospital, Hastings. SUS-150615-132748001

The Trust, which runs the Conquest Hospital and the Eastbourne District General Hospital, spent £3,310,000 on temporary staff in April this year - £1,906,000 of this went on agency expenditure.

The Trust’s board meeting, which took place on Wednesday (June 8), was told this figure was £820,000 less than the figure spent on temporary staff in March.

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Following a successful overseas recruitment programme, the Trust has recently welcomed a number of European and Filipino staff members.

A total of 64 nurses have started in the last two months - 16 from the EU, 13 from overseas outside the EU and 15 from the UK, along with 20 newly-qualified nurses. Eighty healthcare assistants have started working at the Trust since January 16.

Meanwhile, 20 radiographers have been appointed from the Philippines and are expected to start work next month.

The Trust says it hopes the recruitment of the radiographers will enable it to ‘move towards a seven-day service’.

However, medical recruitment ‘continues to be of concern’.

The Trust currently has vacancies for between 15 and 20 middle and lower grade consultants.

The Trust’s chief executive Dr Adrian Bull said the Trust being in Special Measures had ‘not helped’ with recruitment.

But he said he was confident the organisation was ‘turning a corner’.

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