Date lodged: 12 January 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the use of agency nurses by NHS boards.
Answered by: Shona Robison 25 January 2017
The Scottish Government recognises that agency nurses can provide valuable assistance within an overall strategy of service provision, but expects Boards to minimise their use. The Scottish Government and NHS National Services Scotland have recently launched a nationally coordinated programme for all temporary staffing with a view to more effectively managing spend in this area. Agency nurses represent only a small proportion of the nursing provision in NHSScotland, amounting to 0.4% of total nursing and midwifery capacity in 2015-16. Nursing agency spend in 2015-16 was £23.5 million, which is lower than it was a decade ago in 2005-06 when £26.5 million was spent.