2nd March 2015
Following the revelation that North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust spends £16.5 million on temporary hospital workers (or locums), Copeland MP, Jamie Reed has again called on the Government to intervene.
Raising the issue in Parliament, Mr Reed called on the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, to intervene to “reduce the reliance on locum clinical staff at North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust”.
However, the Government refused to take steps to ease the recruitment crisis. A minister in the Department of Health responded that it “is not for Government but for local NHS organisations to manage staffing requirements”.
Reports by the Care Quality Commission and the investigation by Sir Bruce Keogh into high mortality rates at the trust found that recruitment is a major issue, which impacts upon patient care.
Copeland MP and Labour’s Shadow Health Minister, Jamie Reed MP said:
“It is shameful that the Government have refused to intervene to help solve the local NHS recruitment crisis.
“I’ve raised this issue with Ministers repeatedly, and after months of ignoring my letters, the Government has finally admitted that they have washed their hands of West Cumbria. It is clear that solving the recruitment crisis is crucial to improving patient care in West Cumbria, but the Government refuses to act.
“Our doctors and nurses work tirelessly, giving top quality care, but are facing huge pressures because there simply aren’t enough staff. This means money is diverted away from patient care to be spent on locum staff.
“Instead of burying their heads in the sand, the Government should back Labour’s plans to employ 20,000 new nurses, 8,000 new doctors, 3,000 new midwives and 5,000 care workers.”