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Casual staff cut back in Scotland

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The use of bank and agency staff in the Scottish NHS has fallen by almost one-third over the past year, according to government figures.

Data gathered by NHS Scotland Workforce Information shows the number of agency nursing and midwifery staff fell from 484.6 whole-time equivalents in 2006–2007 to 333.9 in 2007–2008. As a result, the NHS reduced its agency costs by 34% (£6.25m).

The use of bank nurses also decreased by 3.4% over the period from 3,519 to 3,399 whole–time equivalents – but costs rose by £11m due to pay arrears made in some areas.

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