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Nurses will be encouraged to look for ways to save money on essentials, such as gloves and syringes, as part of a major campaign being developed by the Royal College of Nursing and NHS Supply Chain.
Sickness absence is costing the NHS an estimated £1.5bn a year, according to the NHS Employers organisation, but staff are taking less time off for illness than they were five years ago.
The government should set a cap on the amount NHS providers can pay for using agency staff during the current nursing shortage, according to a nurse who entered politics to defend the health service.
Nurses in Wales are being asked for their views on draft legislation that could see the country become the first part of the UK to enshrine safe staffing levels in law.
NHS hospitals across the country paid more than £1,000 for agency nurses and locum doctors to fill shifts on a public holiday, new figures show.
Around 90% of patient contact in the NHS happens in general practice. It is estimated that at least one in five nurses working in this setting are aged 55 or over, and expect to retire within five or 10 years.