Skip to main content

Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-13211: Michelle Ballantyne (South Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 8 December 2017

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to reduce the number of agency staff in the NHS.

Answered by: Shona Robison 19 December 2017

In NHSScotland, the majority of temporary shifts are filled through the NHS Staff Bank. The Staff Bank provides NHS Boards with a pool of appropriately trained staff, working on NHS contracts at NHS rates of pay who can provide temporary cover for short term absences. We are working with NHS Boards to strengthen the Staff Bank network and have created Regional NHS Staff Banks that now allow NHS staff to work seamlessly across board boundaries, ensuring that NHS Boards have access to a greater pool of appropriately trained staff.

In order to continue to boost the numbers working in the NHS Staff Bank, recruitment is an on-going process. We have around 35,214 nurses and 2,900 doctors currently registered on these Banks.

The use of agency staff in Scotland remains low and represents only 2.6% of the overall staffing budget. Between 2015-16 and 2016-17 total spend on agency staff fell by 3%.