Sheffield one of the smallest spenders on agency midwives

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, The Jessop Wing.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, The Jessop Wing.
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Sheffield is one of the smallest spenders when it comes to agency midwives, according to new figures.

A study by the Royal College of Midwives, RCM, found a rapid rise in agency staff spending, which has doubled to £25 million in two years nationally.

The RCM sent Freedom of Information requests to all NHS trusts in England with maternity units, of which 123 – 92 per cent – responded.

Of the trusts who responded, 46 admitted using agency staff in 2015 and contributing to the huge £24.95 million spend.

However, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was ranked as one of the lowest in 41st place, spending £1,741.24 on agency staff last year.

The biggest spender was West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust with £2,249,797. The smallest spender was Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust with £160 .

While Rotherham and Barnsley trusts did not respond, nearby Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust ranked at 35th place for spending £39,659.

Jon Skewes, of the RCM, said England currently has a shortage of 3,500 midwives and the money being spent would easily plug workforce gaps.

He said: “The findings of this report are deeply concerning and clearly reveal that many trusts within England are far too reliant on agency and bank midwives.

“This is an incredibly expensive and wasteful way to staff maternity units and it simply cannot continue.”