HSC agency spend down £2m. in 2016

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HEALTH & SOCIAL CARE'S annual spend on agency staff dropped by more than £2m. last year and is expected to continue falling in 2017.

Agency spend across health and social care services reduced significantly from £7.8m. in 2015 to £5.5m. in 2016.

The Health & Social Care Committee underspent its authorised budget for 2016 by £0.6m. – the first time since 2011 that an underspend has been achieved in health and social care services.

Committee president Heidi Soulsby said the new Agency Framework, introduced last year, was the main reason behind the savings. This ensured that agency resources were being used as efficiently as possible and helped the committee to tackle an increasing reliance on agency staff.

'The problem we had with agencies is that it got out of control,' she said.

'We negotiated new deals with the agencies themselves to get better control over when we use them and when we don't.'

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