Local MP Alister Jack has hit out at the revelation that NHS Dumfries and Galloway are spending over £29,000 a day on agency and bank staff, A spokesperson for D&G NHS responded in an exclusive interview with DGWGO.
The figure emerged following a parliamentary question by shadow health secretary Miles Briggs, and shows more than £10.5 million was paid out to private agencies last year.
This is an increase from last year when the Health Board spent just shy of £10million, and represents a colossal 400% increase since the SNP came to office in 2007.
Mr Jack said, “People in Dumfries and Galloway will be as shocked as I was when they learn of this extremely high level of expenditure on agency and bank staff in our health service.
“Agency staff are really important in our NHS as they are flexible and can fill short-term staffing gaps, as well as reducing waiting lists.
“However questions really do need to be asked about why NHS Dumfries and Galloway are paying agencies four times more than they did ten years ago.
“We are all aware of the recruitment crisis in our NHS and I suspect that these staff have been brought in to ensure the correct level of staffing.
“It is high time that more is done to fill current vacancies and more work is undertaken to come up with a longer term plan to attract GPs and consultants to work and live in Dumfries and Galloway.”
A Spokesperson for the NHS responded with this comment ”
“Recruitment is one of the most significant challenges we are facing within Dumfries and Galloway, and this been stated as being the situation for some time.
“Nationally, there is considerable demand for healthcare professionals in a variety of fields, but a great deal of work has been undertaken locally to promote a range of attractive opportunities which exist within our region.
“That work continues, as we aim to fill vacant posts and reduce our current requirement for temporary staffing.”